Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gratitude Journal: I Am a Good Person

I am a good person.

But I am a good person with a lot of flaws.

One of my biggest flaws is that I nearly always look for the negative in people. If you ask me a simple question about someone e.g ‘What is so and so like?’ more often than not, I will answer the question by starting with a lengthy list of the not-so-nice things about this person. I don’t know why I do this. Perhaps I feel that by undermining another person it makes me look better to others. Or maybe by painting a not so positive picture about another makes me feel better about myself.

However, I shall not dwell on the why’s and why nots. All I know is that I carry this trait and I do not like it and I want to do something about it.

It has been really difficult for me to admit this flaw of mine – everyone wants to appear perfect, not so? - but at the same time it is refreshing, a release almost, to do so. By acknowledging this flaw, I can confront it, deal with it and move on. Something I have every intention of doing.

So today, I am grateful that I can be brutally honest about this.
I am grateful that I have the strength to acknowledge and admit this.
I am grateful that I am willing to make a change and by so doing become a better person. Because…

I am a good person.

Today I am starting a gratitude journal. Something I have been wanting to do for years but have never got round to doing. I have started one a few times in the past but I always found myself running out of things to be grateful for. One of the reasons being that I focused on the ‘big’ stuff and overlooked the little things I should also have been grateful for e.g finding a parking spot, receiving an unexpected phone call/letter/email that brightened my day or even just finding a penny on the street. Little things but little things that mean a lot – if only we took the time to notice them.

I recently heard somewhere that the more we are grateful for the stuff we have in our lives the more we open up ourselves to more good stuff entering our lives. I like this thought.

And so this is the beginning for me. I decided to post my first journal entry here ( the only one I shall post because I get a feeling that many of the entries will be too personal to share on my blog) to perhaps encourage you to start a gratitude journal as well because, as I have heard countless other people say, it will change your life. I don’t know if it will change mine, but I sure as hell want to find out. Don't you?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deep. Sometime in 1993 or 1994, I was about 16 or 17, my father called me and asked me why I was like that. In fact, he didn't ask me. He confronted me because I had spoken something bad about a particular influential person. He basically told me - "Deal with this attitude of yours. It is simple envy! And you will never be as great as this person is if you don't deal with it! You won't be great in life if you cannot appreciate people's gifts, even if they are better than you are!"

I was shocked. My father is a quiet person and for him to say this much? I dealt with it. Yes. It is possible. Now, people (my immediate elder sister, especially) sometimes complain that I have too many good things to say about people, even those who have hurt me. I can rant and rate about people but I don't know where it comes from, I just find at least one good thing I know about the person.

Sounds sickening, goody goody two shoes, eh? It has made my life better. And my father was right. No need to go into details of whether or not I am great but he was sure right!

3:07 pm  
Blogger ML said...

I do this also. I have the ability to read people almost instantly and, unfortunately, the first vibes or messages that come to me are always the negative ones. Why? I believe I developed this ability to read people as a result of the abusive household I grew up in. (Sorry to get so personal and deep here.) And therefore, because of the negative environment, that's usually what I pick up straight away.

I recognize that and work VERY hard everyday to flip it around and see and dwell only in the positive. It's difficult, but I'm determined to overcome this trait of mine.

I'm so glad I found your post. It really hits home for me!

Good for you noticing that trait in you!

8:49 pm  
Blogger Toks- Boy said...

The reason I love this blog is that you always make me feel like I can be a better person. Your title is also very apt. Pilgrimage to self indeed. Enjoy the journey. Keep up the good work.

8:09 am  
Blogger Mpana said...

I like this idea. I've been taking a closer look at myself lately and come up with a lot of unsavory attributes. So I've been beating myself up quite a bit, but this may be a good way to counterbalance that.

And I agree with Toks-Boy. Well done you! I put up a few new posts; have a look!

3:53 pm  
Blogger Kafo said...

i like this idea
being grateful and keeping track of d things i am greatful for.

i just speak the last day in a seminar where people were bascially talking about thier childhoods and compared to most of them mine was a fairytale.

3:45 am  
Blogger Omara said...

Inspiring post! I can't even to begin listing my flaws on my blog... someone would alert the authorities LOL! You really are spring cleaning inside and out in readiness for baby. Well done!

11:36 pm  
Blogger monie said...

Its weird. I never really gave this much thought till I read your post. In my case, not only do I tend to look for the negative in people, I try to find the negative in pretty much everything else as well... I don't know why I do this either. When I'm asked about it, I give defiant, defensive explanations about being 'practical', and 'cautious'... Almost as if looking for, and finding the negative in everything protects and prepares me for the hurt/confusion/anger that would usually follow said discovery...

Looking back now though, its safe to say that I've been protected against nothing; So then I ask myself, why waste so much time on the negative(s), when I could be appreciating the very many positives that surround me?...

This is an awesome post. Thank you for putting it up; It's given me food for thought. I think I too, will start a gratitude journal... It'll help keep things in perspective. :=)

6:36 pm  
Blogger Té la mà Maria said...

We have visited his blog-web and find it interesting, congratulations

There visits ours, the irreverent and iconoclast of the world,
is in Catalunya - Spain

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Thank you very much for the visit


10:58 am  
Blogger Dena said...

I periodically journal (not regularly) and once found some old journal entries that I didn't even remember writing.They were prayers to God of things I needed and hoped for. Life went on and when I stumbled accross these entries I realized they were all answered. They weren't just things that would have happened anyway given enough time. They were specific answers to prayers. It was amazing. With my memory as poor as it is, I wouldn't have remembered praying for those things and to give God thanks. Try writing in a journal but add your prayers as well.

6:17 pm  

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