What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?
(Prompt Author: Victoria Klein)
Ok that’s it. I give up. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t fight the relentless deluge of New Age exhortations to better myself. I don’t have the energy. I barely have enough energy to be civil to my partner and spend time with my toddler without being distracted by idiotic vomit-inducing prompts by people I would not seek out for help or inspiration under other circumstances, so why do it now? (And yes, I have now given up on my shiny dream that any of the prompt authors will be writers whose work I might actually like or want to read.)
Do you know what did it for me? It wasn’t finding something to appreciate - believe it or not, even I am able to appreciate more than one thing in life. No, it is the arse-twitching New Age code that requires us all to BE GRATEFUL. A bit like making a child say thank you for a hideous scratchy jumper it’s been given by an ancient aunt, because heaven forbid that aunt should be offended or have to deal with a child's honesty. When I was a child, being ungrateful was one of the worst things you could be. It was on a par with the gravest sins in my mother's eyes: being unladylike and talking back (or having a mind of your own).
This is the same thing. Express your gratitude, fake it if you have to, otherwise, you will offend God or the Universe or whatever Superpower provides all the things that you want and need in life. And underlying it all is a belief that we need to do this because we don’t really deserve it. We don’t deserve to be happy, we don’t deserve to feel fulfilled or at peace or have love in our lives or win the lottery or own a home or be successful or admired or have 25,000 gazillion followers or facebook friends, so we have to make ourselves jump through a series of hoops posing as spiritual rituals or ways of betterment, the modern day equivalent of sacrificing a few virgins in exchange for a good harvest. And I think its bullshit. There’s nothing wrong with feeling thankful. It can even feel good to do good things or better yourself because you genuinely want to. But start making gratefulness compulsory, or a step in a plan to guaranteed affluence and bliss, and any natural feelings of thankfulness that might have arisen will start to turn into a resentful burden of obligation. Not only that, your face will turn to shiny plastic and you won't notice.
Now that you’ve read that are you thinking, Oh my god, how can she say that? Now god’s gonna strike her down with cancer to teach her a lesson. Well if you did, just think about it. Do you really believe that if you aren’t grateful enough, then you deserve whatever bad shit the Universe has to throw at you? If you do then maybe you need reverb10. As for me, I’ve had enough.