I’m grateful for the difficult people in my life. Yes…really!
January 8, 2017
Is there a full moon today?
Am I in the Twilight Zone?
Am I being Punk’d? Candid Camera? (I’m dating myself with that one!)
So a few years ago I founded a Facebook support group for people in chronic pain called “Attitude of Gratitude with Chronic Pain.” I was looking for a positivechronic pain/illness group and I just wasn’t finding it. The other groups were all so freakin’ depressing and I just wanted a place where I could get some positivity, motivation, and even gratitude. I don’t want to dwell on my problems……I live with the hurt all the time. I wanted to find a way to stay happy while living with this.
So I started it! And it’s been awesome! It’s even getting pretty popular with about 1,200 members to date! And these people are just awesome and inspiring and I’ve truly found my tribe. We help each other get through the hard days and it’s this awesome cycle of gratitude. I love it and am so grateful for it. My roommate from rehab is even on board as an admin with me! Haha.
Surely anyone who joins a group based on gratitude is easy to deal with, right?
Within the past 3 or 4 days, I have had the most bizarrerun ins with people from my group! 3 different people intentionally trying to pick a fight with me for some unknown reason. 2/3 of them I’ve never even had a conversation with before! It has left me scratching my head and wondering why they would want to join a group based on gratitude in the first place…but maybe that’s the reason. Maybe they aren’t happy and are trying to find gratitude in any place they can and are just having a hard time with it. Maybe….
Living with chronic pain is HARD. If you’ve ever had an acute injury or illness, you know how hard it is when you are down for the count. But then you get better.
Imagine never getting better. You can put on a happy face for a long time, but there are some days where you just want to kick and scream, because you hurt!!!! You can reach a breaking point. And then you get it out of your system and put that happy face on again.
So maybe these 3 all reached their breaking point this week and decided I was the one they were going to go after. I dunno. I’m still shaking my head and even chuckling a bit because it really feels like I’m in the Twilight Zone! I won’t tell you the situations, because it’s not important nor is it kind. But trust me, you would be shaking your head too.
So how do I find gratitude when I encounter difficult people in my life? I bet you do too and you don’t even realize it.
I am grateful that I am not them. Or at least them at that moment when they decide to be difficult. Look…we ALL go through bad periods. I’ve had many, MANY times in my life where I regret how I’ve acted towards someone….I’m far from perfect. But during the times when wrong has been done to me, after the hurt is gone I’ve learned to be grateful that I’m not them and also to pray for them (thank you to my amazing 12-Step programs for helping me with THAT one!)
I’m grateful for the lessons it teaches me and I learn how NOT to act. I’ve learned to look inside myself and judge if I handled it in the best way I possibly could and if I’m able to put my head on my pillow at night knowing that I was kind and also true to myself.
I’m grateful that I’ve learned how to swiftly remove these difficult people from my life! Haha. Seriously, I used to try to change these people….I must have been a glutton for punishment or something. All that would get me would be more hurt and I would be surprised time and time again that these negative people would wrong me. DUH!!!!! Well I’m a slow-learner apparently, but….get this one….when I get rid of those people from my life I am exercising not only self-care but self-compassion!!!! True story!!!!!
So hopefully this weird “full-moon/pick on Lauren” stage is over. But if it’s not, I’ll be able to handle it. I’m way stronger than I used to be and it’s a direct result of keeping gratitude at my default setting. I’m tellin’ ya’ guys, it’s a gamechanger!
Lauren has lived with lupus & fibromyalgia for 18 years & is the founder of the FB group, "Attitude of Gratitude with Chronic Pain (AoG.)" Also a recovering alcoholic, Lauren discovered the power of GRATITUDE during her recovery for that as well as in dealing with her chronic illness. In 2016 she embarked on her "Gratitude Project" by writing an essay on one new thing that she was grateful for every day on Facebook for the entire year. It was that project that sparked the website gratitudeaddict.com and she's currently writing a book called "Attitude of Gratitude with Chronic Pain" based on how living with the intention of gratitude has changed her life with chronic pain as well as the lives of the thousands of members of AoG. Lauren also sits on the Board of Trustees and is Social Media Coordinator for Chronic Pain Anonymous. #GetYourGratitudeOn