I was watching one of those mindless but oh so addictive reality shows where they show pictures of botched up celebrity plastic surgeries and I just couldn’t get over how these beautiful people, who have so much going for them, and seemingly limitless amounts of money are never satisfied with what they have. Over and over again they go back and perform the surgeries that change their appearance and yet they are never satisfied with the outcome they get. The same reality show I was watching showed how some careers have been destroyed by a single change in appearance.
I once wrote about how being grateful can actually enhance your mood and in the long run give you a better quality of life. In my article, ‘A helping of Gratitude’ I also stated that people who are grateful tend to be more in tune with their feelings and the needs of others.
Well, being grateful is not enough. You have to go beyond being grateful. Accept the situation as it is before exploring ways to improve it. In some cases an improvement on the situation is impossible. In such cases a different approach is needed. You may be missing out on the possibilities that might be staring at you.
Paul Cezzane, an artist who lived in the 1800’s tried over and over to create permanence by drawing and redrawing still life portraits of fruits. He was known to paint for long agonizing periods so that the fruit would go bad and even then he never felt satisfied with the actual product he had. What’s amazing is that the same still life’s (Still Life with Apples) that Cezzane never felt he could truly capture ended up being some of the best and most priced pieces of still life that other greats like Picasso tried to emulate.
Anything that happens has the potential of having real value to your life. Spending time being grateful will get you halfway there. Take a real look at a given situation and see it for all the possibilities it presents. Instead of doing and redoing the same thing with the same dismal results, why not try accepting the situation and trying to see how it could work for your present situation.
On a side note, I have to mention who Andrew Porter is. He wrote a book called, ‘The Authenticity Hoax, How We Get Lost in Finding Ourselves’. I was nodding, and mumbling while reading this book, much to the chagrin and irritation of my husband. He talks about how we spend so much time trying to be authentic and in the mean time buy into the consumerism that could facilitate your authenticity. My take on it, is that the more you search for answers sometimes, the more you will get lost. Sometimes a situation just is. If things are not going well, then just aren’t. If you don’t like your nosy neighbor, well you just don’t. Being grateful will only get you so far. It will improve your mood, but it won’t solve anything.
This urge to redo what we don’t like in front of us that leads to dissatisfaction and no matter how grateful you are about things you already have; accepting what is in front of you may help get you out of the frustration and anxiety that follows an undesirable outcome. Instead you may actually be missing out on the myriad of possibilities staring right at you waiting to be explored rather than changed.