The Guilt of Not Being Grateful
When I was in college I knew I should be grateful. I’d had a rough childhood and I’d never experienced anything like the big fields of grass, the clean paths, the buildings, and the resources that being at a university offered. I knew that I was supposed to be grateful, but instead I just felt sad.
The more sad I felt, the more guilty I felt for not being grateful. I should feel lucky. I should feel satisfied. I should feel grateful. And with these thoughts, I got more and more depressed.
I knew there were people who were less fortunate than me. I knew there were people who would do anything to be in the position I was in. I knew that my experience was precious and unique. The more I tried to be aware of all the reasons why I should be grateful, the more depressed I became.
You can get rich quick - instantly in fact - if you can simply step into the feeling state of gratitude. Gratitude is abundance. It transforms your world into paradise before your very eyes no matter how much or how little you have.
As I am creating my class Get Rich Quick - I want to just shake people awake to the beauty and the richness of life. Just open your eyes! Just look at the dew drops and the hear the bird song! Just feel the luxurious energy in your body after a healthy, clean meal!
But I know it’s not that simple.
Even now, as I have access to everything I could ever imagine, I fall out of gratitude. I get fixated on little problems and ruminate on them. I strategize and I plan. I toss and turn at night trying to figure out what the right decisions are for things that ultimately don’t matter. I forget that it’s all up to my higher power. I forget to relax. I forget to be grateful.
My ego wants to say, Unicole, how can you tell everyone just to be grateful? You have no idea what reality they’re in. Imagine, these words reach someone who is suffering deeply, who has no light in their life, and you tell them to be grateful. Is that really the answer? How do you stop feeling guilt and start actually feeling gratitude?
There are a few parts to this answer:
1. Your sadness is valid
Just because you have something that other people don’t have, doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to be sad. Your negative emotions are indicators of important information. If you feel sad, it’s because your needs are not getting met. Just because you might have some needs being met, doesn’t mean that all of your needs are being met. Allow yourself to fully feel your sadness or negative emotions and trace them back to the root. Find out what needs you have that are not being met and do what you can to meet them.
2. Your feelings of gratitude can come from within
We often think we should feel grateful for the physical things in our lives, but gratitude comes from feeling safe. When you feel safe, you can actually enjoy all the benefits of existing in the present moment. Gratitude isn’t simply “Oh I got a new car, now I’ll never be sad again.” It’s more a process of trauma healing and learning presence so that tools like new cars can help validate and support what you already have cultivated inside of yourself.
3. No matter where you’re at, you can connect to gratitude and release guilt
Guilt and gratitude are opposite feelings. You’re allowed to need things. You’re allowed to have things. You’re allowed to feel safe. You’re allowed to enjoy yourself. Be grateful not just for the good things have, but also for the good ways that you feel.
SPIRITUAL AND EMOTIONAL REALITY IS THE MOST REAL, IMPACTFUL REALITY. HOW YOU FEEL IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT IS AROUND YOU.
Your physical safety is essential and collaborating with material reality is what will help you actually Get Rich Quick. But we over-value material reality and for the most part we completely ignore the emotional state that we are in until our emotions are overwhelming. Protect your body, collaborate with material reality to create a supportive space to your most fulfilled emotional state, and do what you can to be present in THIS moment.
Take every opportunity you have to lose yourself in the luxurious richness of the present moment. Feel the physical sensations, the feelings of fullness or hunger, feel your body in space, feel all the things you’ve done and all the things you’re going to do, balanced here in this moment. You are safe. Communicate that to your nervous system and feel yourself relax into abundance.
If you can’t access that feeling, that’s ok too. Feel your feelings and learn what needs you have that aren’t being met yet. You’re perfect exactly as you are in this moment.