Sometimes I wake up and my first thought is I didn’t get enough sleep. I get to the fridge to find that I don’t have enough fruit to make my smoothie. And then I look at my to-do list and realize I don’t have enough time to get even half way through it.
I get in my car and discover that I don’t have enough gas to get to the yoga studio. Later, I come home to a letter from my bank manager telling me I don’t earn enough for a mortgage.
And I spend the rest of the day feeling like I’m just not good enough.
The Never Enough Problem
Never good enough.
Never thin enough.
Never clever enough.
Never pretty enough.
Never rich enough.
Never successful enough.
We could all fill in the blank of "never __________ enough."
We spend our lives calculating how much we have, how much we want, and how much we don’t have. And we compare this to what everyone else has (or to the visions of perfection we get from the media) – a self-defeating cycle that will always ends with the same conclusion: We are lacking. We never have enough. We never are enough.
But there is an answer to the Never Enough Problem: Gratitude.
Gratitude is what makes the glass half full. It reminds you that you have enough and that you are enough.
I created a Gratitude Jar a couple of months ago. It started as nothing special, just an old-fashioned glass jar with a ribbon tied around the rim. Every day, sometimes several times a day, I write down what I am grateful for and add these "Gratitude Notes" to my jar.
And remarkable things have happened.
My outlook on life has shifted. I no longer feel like I am inadequate and lacking from the moment I wake up or berate myself for not getting through my to-do list. I appreciate the food that I have, the time that I have, the people that I have.
Appreciating yourself for your strengths AND your imperfections (not in spite of them), allows you to find a sense of belonging and to feel more connected to life.
When I have a down day (we all have them!), a quick glance at my Gratitude Jar reminds me that life is full of wonderful things to be grateful for and I have the strength and support to overcome anything.
But having gratitude doesn't just happen! It's a practice we have to foster every day. You wouldn’t expect a flower to grow without water, and you wouldn’t expect your body to get healthier without nourishing it. So you can’t expect to feel like you have enough and you are enough, without nurturing a gratitude for life and an appreciation of yourself.
Sometimes it’s the simple things that make life wonderful: the beautiful sun rise and the blackberries at the bottom of the garden, to the smile from a stranger, or the encouraging text from a friend.
Taking time to appreciate those moments of joy helps you to cherish your life and yourself.
Gratitude Jar Ingredients