One Sure-Fire Way to Be Miserable 18


Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

We all know the story. It is the story of Snow White, a beautiful young girl who was the fairest in the kingdom.  It is the story of an evil Queen who wanted to be the most beautiful maid in the land.  In the process of trying to capture what she is denied, the evil Queen brings about her own destruction. 

For me, it is a story of the stark difference between gratitude and ingratitude.  It is a lesson in learning to love what and who you are versus feeling jealous and angry because you do not have everything you want.  Although Snow White is not my favorite of the princess stories, I do think there is a lesson there for us all to learn.

Who is the fairest…?

If you truly want to be miserable, here is one small thing that will get you there every time:

Focus on what you do not have.

I would bet we have each been there at some point.  We have each been the Queen in the story.  I know I have.

It is easy to see what we don’t have.  We normalize the things we have been given pretty quickly. It happens after you fall in love.  It happens after you buy something new.  You get used to it.  Suddenly, it doesn’t have the same “pop” of excitement as before.  So, then, our natural tendency is to start to look at new things, exciting things, things you do not have.  Suddenly, you notice your neighbor’s new furniture.  Your friend has a new hairstyle.  Your sister-in-law always has new clothes.  You want those things.  You need those things.

When we focus on these things, we prevent ourselves from enjoying the moment, from enjoying the beauty of what we do have.

When we focus on what we do not have we become:

unhappy, less social, insecure, competitive, envious, materialistic, pessimistic and self-centered.

When  you focus on what you do not have, you are more likely to have:

more superficial relationships, lower self-esteem, lower resilience, and less spiritual connection

In my work, I see all the time this tendency.  When we focus on what we do not have, we become consumed with pity, sadness, and jealousy.  We are overwhelmed with it.  It colors our thinking and prevents us from enjoying all that we do have.

There is deep meaning and great joy in gratitude.  

Focus on those things that you do have.  Make a list.  Write it down.

Here are a few things I am grateful for:

gratitude subway art

I will write another post on the benefits of gratitude soon.  If you are curious right now, here is a great article on the benefits of gratitude.

So, until then, instead of thinking about what you do not have, think about this:

Gratitude.jpg

Be grateful.  Be beautiful.  Create happiness.

 

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Elizabeth

Wife, mother of twins, speaker, and creator of Balm to My Soul.I love to write, speak, sleep, snuggle and, if I really get lucky, inspire and help others. I am clearly imperfect but determined to be a little better every day. Some days are better than others! Thanks for stopping by!
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About Elizabeth

Wife, mother of twins, speaker, and creator of Balm to My Soul. I love to write, speak, sleep, snuggle and, if I really get lucky, inspire and help others. I am clearly imperfect but determined to be a little better every day. Some days are better than others! Thanks for stopping by!


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18 thoughts on “One Sure-Fire Way to Be Miserable

  • Reply
    Charlee Anne

    I am guilty of ingratitude every day. I am easily frustrated when things do not go my way. I know I have a lot, but I always focus on everything I could have that is so much “better”. Thank you for the reminder and for spreading good through your blog, Elizabeth!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thanks, Charlee. I know it is something I have to make a conscious effort for. Have a beautiful day!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Love gratitude journals!! Such a great way to keep up the positivity! Thanks for visiting Lana!

  • Reply
    Carie Spence

    It’s funny how I was just having these thoughts recently as we settle into our new house and I was finding myself comparing what we had to others and wanting more things to make it “better” and realizing it wasn’t about the physical features but how we made it a home. Thank you for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest board.

  • Reply
    Deanna

    Excellent reminder! I have so much to be thankful for and that’s what I should spent my time dwelling on, not things I wish were different.

  • Reply
    Topaz @ The Art of a Beautiful Life

    You are right. We all experience this at times. And it is a night and day difference in how we feel depending on if we practicing gratitude or ingratitude. We should never taken anything we have for granted. No matter what we might be working toward, we should always be thankful and celebrate what we have.Thanks for the wonderful reminder. Have a beautiful day!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thanks Topaz! You are such an inspiration. What a great way to start my day with your sweet comment and tweet!! Have a beautiful day!

  • Reply
    Treana B

    How interesting that you just posted this. We went over to a friend’s house last night and loved everything about their house. I got MAJOR house envy and was feeling that ours was inadequate as it is. Thanks for the reminder. Comparison is the thief of joy! Thank you so much for sharing on the Merry Monday Linky Party! We hope you will join us next week. – Treana from http://houseofbennetts.com

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thanks Treana. Isn’t is funny how quickly envy and comparison creep in? I have to work on this! Have a beautiful day! Thanks for stopping by!