I am Grateful, I really am…

So my daily meditation course directed at improving my life is currently focused on gratitude. One of the exercises was to recall those who helped you out early on in your life. There were several and so I was cheerfully following the instructions of this meditation teacher and imagining their faces. The next instruction was to write them a letter thanking them.

That’s when my obsessive thinking got in the way. I have decided I need to be less self centered (or narcissistic, as my therapist puts it). Why is it that everyone on my list of gratitude had given something to me? My practice letters included tales of how well I have done thanks to their help, which suddenly felt extremely self centered. Shouldn’t I feel grateful for things I have done? Grateful to folks for giving me an opportunity for helping them?

But then….that’s self centered too. Because, really, don’t I help them because it makes ME feel better, like I’m so good?

I’m reminded of a conversation with friends about the question: Is it selfish to gain self worth through helping others? Should you just help regardless of anything other than they need a hand? But then a more recent conversation comes to mind. How to accept help from others. My friend and I were both guilty of having a hard time doing this but for very different reasons. My goal this month is to talk to people about both these ideas: accepting help and not being self centered. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Why is there a photo of my dashboard? Because the one thing in my life just now where I don’t feel so selfish is driving for Seniors First!