Grateful for mixed emotions
We were having a wee think on what to write this week’s ‘two cents’ about, and had the idea of writing a postmortem, of sorts, on Thanksgiving and what it impact it may or may not have had in COVID-filled 2020. Not 10 minutes after we had this idea, an e-newsletter from Cam’s Kids* showed up in our inbox. The mental health newsletter, which is actually directed towards teens and youth, was talking about exactly what we had just decided to write about.
“This past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving – the holiday that reminds us to find and show gratitude for the things in our life.”
Those were literally the first lines of the newsletter. We went to Cam’s Kids where we read an article by Joelle Anderson that made it obvious someone had beaten us to our idea. And we couldn’t have said it any better. Ms Anderson writes “Between a global pandemic; hugely important, but heavy realizations about privilege and power; and no longer even being able to see the smile on the face of our friendly, neighbourhood grocery store clerk… is it any wonder we might not be feeling all that grateful lately?”
We are all super weary of COVID and all it demands of us. The world seems to be going to h*** in a handbasket, and we’re supposed to give thanks? We may have taken a moment this weekend to be grateful for those we were able to spend time with, or grateful for the food on our table, but did that gratefulness make our fears disappear? Likely not. But let Ms Anderson explain: “We often grow up hearing gratitude tied to invalidating statements such as, “you have no reason to be upset, you so much to be grateful for,” or, “there are people in the world suffering more than you, you should be more grateful!” Statements like these essentially suggest that any of the challenging feelings we are experiencing are somehow flawed. Feeling like we “should be grateful” because we are still working or have our health (read: “others in the world are suffering more”) can make us feel like we are supposed to feel OK and so something must be wrong with us if we are down.”
These words explain the conflict that we felt all weekend and couldn’t quite put a finger on. And we were glad to find we weren’t alone; we bet you’re glad too.
Read the whole article at https://www.camskids.com/tipsandtools/not-feeling-so-grateful-lately/ It’s good to know that we can be grateful and really pissed off all at the same time. Gives us one less thing to worry about.
*Cam’s Kids is a Uxbridge-based foundation that is committed to “Supporting Young People Struggling with Anxiety”.