In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I talk about how, while gratitude, an appreciation for what we have or what something gave us despite the painfulness of it, is undoubtedly important, we also need to be able to acknowledge our feelings. When we skip to gratitude and call something a ‘blessing in disguise’ during or following a difficult experience, we deny our feelings, which harms our wellbeing. We can be both. We can be grateful and also acknowledge when something sucks. 

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5 key topics in this episode

  • In a world where we’ve been socialised and conditioned to distrust our feelings, to suppress and repress our needs, desires, expectations, feelings and opinions, we have to allow ourselves to be angry first, to grieve, to feel our feelings and give voice to our sense of injustice and disappointment so that we can then gain perspective. Yes, we will, if we allow ourselves to evolve, to not remain in the same patterns, experience gratitude, to recognise the blessing in disguise. But first, we have to admit that it sucks. 
  • When somebody urges us to “look on the bright side” pretty much immediately, they’re uncomfortable with the ‘dark side’. They don’t want to be too aware of our feelings and what this might evoke in them. 
  • Gratitude does dig us out of that space where we notice nothing at all about our day and our life bar the one thing that’s missing or the situation(s) getting on our nerves. It does open up our mind to recognising what the situation shows and teaches us.
  • Whether we’re self-critical and pessimistic or pretending everything is My Little Ponies and rainbows, it’s bypassing. We don’t need to bypass our emotions because as soon as we do that, we bypass ourselves. We ignore our needs and our humanness.
  • Sometimes, something sucks, and that’s it. We don’t have to think it’s a blessing in disguise that our parent died or that we lost a partner or that we or someone else was injured. It will gift something in the experience of the grief, of having to reconcile ourselves with it, but sometimes whatever it is sucks and we are allowed to feel that way.
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