Dec 5 2013

Tracey Jackson

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Gratitude

GRA – ATTITUDE

Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 3.35.50 AM

Okay, so I added the extra T, but right off the bat you get the idea. Gratitude at its core is having a great attitude.

I think conceptually this makes gratitude easier to achieve, certainly in the face of adversity.

I read the other day (I don’t know where) “You don’t have to like everything, but you need to stay positive.”  That in a nutshell is gra- attitude.

It means that no matter what you face you can somehow, some way see the bright side.  You can –  to quote a well-worn cliché,  see the silver lining in most clouds.  You can, when you are feeling down, or blue , or like life is not ladling up the soup you ordered, keep a good attitude going.

As we see by breaking the word down attitude is more than three quarters of what makes up gratitude.

I think people sometimes find gratitude daunting because they think it is all about being thankful, and mushy: All hearts and butterflies, and sorry Paul, rainbows.  Nobody can live a life totally made up of mojis. Oh, I’m grateful for the sun, and the wind and the rain and my eczema.  Heart, Flower, Kiss, Kiss, Smiley Face!

Let’s face it; it’s impossible to be pleased and grateful in the absolute for everything, all the time. And it’s a boatload of pressure. We are human after all.  We contain the entire seventy – two color crayon box of emotions.  We can’t deny ourselves our humanness, with all this emphasis on being eternally grateful.

And indeed, there are endless times where grateful is the only way to go.

But then there are times when instead of asking the question “Am I being grateful?”  You can say, “What is my attitude doing?”  Am I rocking my tude-  as my thirteen year old might say. Or she might cringe with embarrassment that I said it.  But I like it, “Am I rocking my tude?”

The point is our attitude is where the heart of gratitude lives.

When you take stock of yourself, and the world around you, there are so many places where attitude is the first responder.  And that attidude, and not fake smiley faces is an indicator of our gra-attitude.

In our first Affirmation of Personal Freedom -  “Something needs to change and it’s probably me.”

The first thing we usually need to change is our attitude.  The bad-attitude is often a habitual response to not getting what we want.  It can appear in the form of denial, the attitude of I don’t have a problem, every one else does. How many of us know that bad-attitude or are capable of it ourselves?

Being defensive leads to a bad-attitude and is eons away from gra- attitude:  Petulant and pouty, bad-attitude all the way.

Since life is life, and there are so many situations we cannot control; our attitude is often one of the only things we have control of.

How we respond to bad news, bad luck, bad weather, setbacks, sickness, stimulation, temptation, irritation is all in our hands.

And the difference between bad-attitude and gra-attitude is how we choose to react.

Sometimes we have to put on the face of a gra- attitude. We have to choose to smile instead of frown. We have to choose to be calm instead of chaotic. We have to roll with the punches and not punch the rolls back.  We have to put on our brave face show our gra-attitude.

Gra-attitude is like any muscle, you need to exercise it, work it and make conscious attempts to change it.  Then when you catch yourself responding with a bad-attitude, you can amend it, take it back. Say “Sorry, not your fault, I’m being a grump today.”

The other thing that gra-attitude is gr-ate for is how we respond to those who do drive us crazy, those who refuse to change themselves or their –gra-attitude. We can opt to not meet them at their bad-attitude level. We can stay steady, stay calm, respond to them with a gra-attitude.  And when you do that,  you might just find it can be quite magical. They often end up changing their attitude.  And if they don’t, it’s no bother to you, because you choose to live your life in –gra-attitude and trust.   You give great attitude no matter what is going on around you. And that  my friends, is gratitude in action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracey Jackson

Tracey Jackson is a screenwriter and blogger at traceyjacksononline.com. Her book Gratitude and Trust; Recovery is Not Just For Addicts will be released in 2014.

  • Michael Gullickson

    I just had an exercise in contrasts. I was waiting in line for my photos at Walgreens, while the clerk was busy at another register ringing up other customers.A couple came up behind me, and I turned around smiling, and told them she was busy and would be over as soon as she could.The man looked at me with a “If -I- had- a-phasar-I- would-blast-you-out- of-existence-look.” He then went over to where the clerk was busy and raised an imperious finger and pointed to where he was waiting. She came over after excusing herself from the other register.
    She had a genuine smile, a warm attitude, and was a remarkable person in the face of the Christmas rush and people with an attitude.
    I thanked her and I will contact her manager to praise her for her kindness.
    I choose to remember kindness, though rudeness leaves an imprint also. Give gratitude to those who care, because I believe gratitude is catching..so pass it on.

    • http://www.traceyjacksononline.com/ Tracey Jackson

      It is amazing how the little things can illicit such extreme responses in different people. Sometimes when I find myself getting frustrated in lines, which I do, I’m impatient by nature. I have to fight it all the time. But I try and catch myself and go, come on this is not a big deal, smile at the person next to you. Think about nice things, it’s only a few minutes. But people flip out. It’s nice you keep your cool and smile and then look what you get back, a smile, then you smile on the inside and that is gra-attitude!

  • Steppie Royes

    Having one of those “blah” days. One of those surprises that shouldn’t be
    much of one is that your blog posting for today really helped. A great example
    can be found in your latest post on your personal site, about the pharmacy. You
    could have a bad attitude when dealing with empty medicine bottles that can’t be
    filled until the insurance decides you need it. But you don’t freak. You keep
    the good attitude and it spreads to those around you and people are not just
    able to help but are willing. That’s why I have you as one of my role-models.
    Great blog, Tracey….on both sites!

    • http://www.traceyjacksononline.com/ Tracey Jackson

      Steppie – you sweet thing. Sorry you had a blah day. Mean reds as Holly Golightly used to say. My attitude swings. It’s writing this stuff that often zips me back to where I need to be. You guys do as much for me as hopefully we can do for you. Hope today is better. Sending California good vibrations your way.

  • http://mayorofstoryville.podomatic.com/ Mayor of Storyville

    Your last paragraph is so important, over Thanksgiving I used my “rainbows” to keep a positive flow when comments could have turned into a Snarkfest, and to your point it was hard to stay calm, but that’s what kept the thanks in Thanksgiving.

    • http://www.traceyjacksononline.com/ Tracey Jackson

      Yes. Yes.Yes. It proves we can do it. I so often have to stop myself from going into snarkfest mode. Not always easy, but it does get easier the more we do it. Glad you had a chaos free holiday.

  • Kerri Mellick

    “How we respond to bad news, bad luck, bad weather, setbacks, sickness, stimulation, temptation, irritation is all in our hands.”

    So true and something I need to remind myself everyday. A great post and thank you…simple advice that works!

    • http://www.traceyjacksononline.com/ Tracey Jackson

      You and me both. And thank you for writing in that you needed to remind yourself, I need to remind yourself today! Thank you!