You may be wondering what I mean of The Dark Side of Gratitude. I certainly don’t want to imply that it is negative to feel and express appreciation.
What dawned on me a few weeks ago (once again) is that it is easy to feel gratitude for the positive things in life. An award from work, a handwritten thank you note sent by a friend, or a smile from your child.
Yet there is another level where I find it much harder to feel appreciation – and that’s with something that looks and is negative on the surface. This could be as tiny as missing the bus to as big as coming to grips with a personal tragedy. Many years ago, I gained a boatload of weight – ballooning up nearly 50 pounds. If you asked me if I was grateful for that – heck no was my answer. In fact, I could see no value in the excess weight.
Fast forward a few months and I was seeing my doctor after nearly being severed by a broken elevator car. He looked at my leg and said, “Wow, you are so much thinner. Yet if you hadn’t had that extra weight, your leg would have snapped off like a twig.” In a flash of insight, I became deeply grateful for those extra pounds.
Gratitude is a great thing. The good stuff is easy to say thank you for. The less than good stuff could be amazingly brilliant for your life with an open mind and heart.