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From guilt and shame to gratitude

How to practice being grateful for the life that you have while pursuing the life that I desire?

Back in 2005 when I was focusing on how unhappy I was, great guilt and shame consumed my thoughts. My old beliefs created these feelings.

I had two healthy children, they were involved in many sport activities, I had a stable career with a huge company, I lived in a big home, big pool, Summer cottage, new vehicles. We had a comfortable lifestyle, I had a partner. Yet, I was completely unhappy.

No matter what material comfort I had in my life, no matter the health of my kids and I had, no matter how big my house was ... no matter what I had, nothing brought me happiness. I entertained thoughts and questions that were very critical of me.:

  • "You have everything you need to be happy, why can you not appreciate what you have?" (guilt)

  • "How dare you want more; many would be so happy with what you have." (shame)

  • "What is wrong with you?"(shame)

The big issue was the partner I had at the time. Yes, another mismatch yet again. I felt I should know better, I was an intelligent person. (shame) It was time for me to get my life aligned, I knew that, but it was so scary. I'd lose everything. (shame) The kids would suffer in a small apartment. (shame, guilt) I'd have to give up comfort for the kids and I (shame & guilt) I'd have to leave the dogs and cats behind (guilt) and so on. These conversations in my head were ongoing.

I eventually made the big move and yes everyone's life was disrupted.(guilt). It was tough but necessary.

While all of this was going on, I immersed myself in books by Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay. The concept of gratitude was mentioned several times by both of them. I decided to buy myself a nice journal, and it was going to be my gratitude journal. Every evening, I would journal about the things I was grateful for from my day. No bitching. No complaining. Only gratitude entries.

Gratitude shifted my feelings of shame and guilt.

You would not believe the things I started being grateful about? I started feeling different. Gratitude helped me handle, the challenges of a hard separation while processing all the tough emotions. It was about realizing that despite all that was going on, I had many things to be grateful for. Gratitude shifted my feelings of shame and guilt.

Gratitude journaling helped me become conscious of what I was grateful for throughout my day, and it helped me focus on the milestones I was achieving in creating my new reality.

I would attribute gratitude journaling to have contributed to my ability to get through my life challenges and reach my dreams one step at a time. Still today, 18 years later, it is part of my daily routine. At night, from journaling all of my gratitude moments of the day, I pick one top gratitude moment of my day and I journal why it made the top one?

Two years ago, I bought a book from Rhonda Byrne called "The magic" and it expanded even more all I could be grateful for. I loved the book so much that I decided to create a Facebook group called: The magic, and daily I would show up and share on the gratitude theme of the day. I had a good following and I hosted the gratitude challenge again this year...

Start your own gratitude journal. Change your life. Pursue your dreams.

Love, Light & Blessings.

Frannie Chara

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