Feeling grateful can be difficult, especially since gratitude is often hyped up as the “thing” to do. How can we learn to accept ourselves as we are instead of being ashamed for feeling ungrateful?
First things first. We need to acknowledge that our feelings are valid, and we’re allowed to feel how we feel. It can be overwhelming to see messages of thankfulness and cheer around us when we’re just getting by, slogging through the day. Don’t let those messages allow you to feel shame. Feeling ungrateful happens and sometimes the more we strive to hit the false goal of optimum gratitude, the unhappier we become. Try checking in with your emotions and be present in how you’re feeling. Namchak’s body scan meditation is a good way to check if you’re holding any counterproductive emotions somewhere in your body, and learn how to release them.
Focus on what you can control, and that’s yourself. Try easing into a compassion practice, or find things that you enjoy and incorporate those into your life. How can you move forward while setting yourself up for success? Perhaps by setting healthy boundaries that allow you to enjoy this season without feeling pressured, or by spending quality time with those who care about you.
Remember, it’s ok to feel ungrateful. We all do at some point. It’s when we shame ourselves into feeling guilty for our ungratefulness that the negativity can start to compound. Shifting focus to our own needs is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves. It’s a way to find acceptance with where we are, then move forward from a place of self-compassion.