Day 7 – Give Thanks for the Bumps on the Road

 

Welcome to the final day of the Gratitude Challenge! This isn’t the last post however – in a few days we’ll do a roundup of all the great things you’ve shared with us and with other Challengers so far, so keep watching!

This last day is dedicated to appreciating yourself and your life – everything in it, the good and the bad… but with more focus on what you see as bad 😉

It’s easy to appreciate the nice things and good people in our life – all it takes is for us to become aware that we’ve been taking them for granted, and to start recognizing their value.

But with the “bumps on the road”, with the mistakes we made, with the perception that someone did us wrong… not that easy.

And you need to accept everything in your life in order to live it to the fullest. That means no hiding, no turning your head the other way, not closing your eyes!

Your Mistakes, Your Missed Opportunities, the Hardship and Pain in Your Life… Stop Regretting Them!

The mistakes we made are usually the most difficult thing to let go of; we tend to beat ourselves up over them long after we made them, thinking that “My life would be so different if only I did this / accepted that / went there / __________ “(fill the blank with your favorite regret).

The truth is, this doesn’t change anything. Lamenting over your past, blaming yourself or someone else for not being where you feel you should be today – it doesn’t change anything. You know that. It’s a waste of time – and a waste of energy.

Do you realize that the mistakes and bumps on the road are what makes you who you are today? You’ve learned something from every single of these experiences. The hardships have served you more than you know, or more than you’re willing to admit.

So instead of beating yourself up, take a moment to think about what the challenges you’ve experienced have taught you. What good things happened after that ex girlfriend left you? What successes did you achieve after being a not-so-great student? What do you know about yourself today, that you didn’t know before something you keep holding on to as the “regret of your life”?

The mistakes, the bad things, just like the good things and those we’re proud of, they all serve a purpose in our life. Your task, today and everyday until you figure it all out, is to find that purpose – and to accept that those weren’t mistakes, those were merely learning experiences which have helped you grow.

Perhaps you’re still not sure of it, perhaps you have a long way to go before you can understand and accept the big picture – but everything that happens in our life, happens for a reason, and that reason is for us to get to know ourselves and to grow.

Your Final Task

Give thanks for your mistakes and all the bumps you’ve encountered.

Start with one or two, that’s enough for one day, and for this exercise today it should be some smaller “bumps”. You’ll have plenty of time to review the bigger ones as you continue with your personal gratitude challenge.

Identify the things that you felt (or still feel) bad about, and then put them in the context of your life afterwards: focus on what you have gained from each of them. Tangible things, people you met, opportunities that showed up, new insights…

When you look really hard, you will find something to be grateful about – no matter if it’s a small thing. The intent is to let go of feeling bad about it and finding a way to be grateful. That’s why you’re practicing with small things today – to gradually learn to gradually accept your past, and you as you are today.

So this is your final task, the one that you will (hopefully) continue to work on.

There will be a roundup post in a few days, with  your expressions of gratitude and your reflections on the meaning and place of gratitude – watch our Facebook page for it 🙂

In the meantime keep filling your journal with things you’re grateful for. When you review it in a few months, or on the next New Years Eve, you’ll see what awesome stuff you’ve experienced – and you’ll enjoy them even more!

By then you’ll probably have so many things to be grateful for that you’ll need to start a new journal 🙂

Now, what have you found to be grateful for regarding your mistakes and bumps on the road?