Unhappy Thanksgiving: When to Be Ungrateful

November 22, 2010 | 44 Comments »

If your inbox looks anything like mine, it’s filled with tips and reminders for practicing a deeper level of gratitude and appreciation in honor of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday.

Last week I sat on a Gratitude Panel; tomorrow night I guest on an Appreciation & Gratitude radio show; this morning someone shared with me the Attitude of Gratitude fan page on facebook.

I’m starting to feel on overload with the reminders to get grateful.

(Shoot, one of my own ebooks is all about self-appreciation!)

But I get it. Appreciation is not just a high vibe but the solution to all our problems. It’s how we get aligned and how we make the most of life. Every deliberate creator knows that.

Which for some reason kind of puts me in the mood to embrace grumpiness.

Because pressure of any kind pushes us in the opposite direction – even when it’s “good” pressure like a bazillion reminders to be grateful.

But I do know not to resist grumpiness (or anything I’m feeling), and can already feel some relief in letting myself have some fun with this …

… so today’s post is a rah-rah session for when it’s okay to be unappreciative, to take something for granted, and even to be critical sometimes.

Dare me? This sort of feels like LOA sacrilege. Because this may seem directly contradictory to everything deliberate creators know to do about sending the higher signals – except it isn’t.

Because we can’t really truly be grateful or appreciative until we’ve felt our way through the other stuff.

If I’m irritated about neighbors that let their dog run loose, or worried about the insurance bill next month, or mad at my computer, or ticked off about my ex who still owes me that apology – whatever I’m feeling, if I pretend I’m not feeling it and push myself to dial in on appreciation – it just doesn’t work.

Denial doesn’t fly. That’s why Abraham says, “Own it and get over it.”

That’s why putting a happy sticker over the empty fuel gauge doesn’t change the fact that we’re out of gas.

So when is it okay to be ungrateful? When you’re not (grateful).

Feel how you feel.

Whatever it is.

It’s okay.

And after getting that mini-rant out of my system, I’m finding it impossible not to appreciate this Nelly song playing in the background. And the Verizon commercial that makes me want to dance.

And the kitty sleeping on my lap that made my feet fall asleep and kinked my back from typing sideways. And my incredible wisdom to have brought the phone and water bottle nearby so I don’t disturb lounging kitty. Because Elvis sleeping on my lap is probably my greatest joy.

That’s why grumpy works. That’s how ornery serves us.

So this Thanksgiving if you find yourself feeling something besides love and light for whatever’s up in your life, relax. You won’t undo all your manifesting efforts by getting a little dark.

In fact, feeling less than fab may very well be what gets things moving again, if you’ve been denying those less elevated emotions.

Double in fact, this is directly related to tomorrow’s GVU call topic with Harmony Harrison of Hissy Fits and Tantrums and their role in successful manifesting! How perfect is that timing?!

Wait a minute … am I starting to sound appreciative? And a little bit happy? I didn’t mean to – just a natural consequence of feeling the feelings, whatever they may be.

So it is with heartfelt love and appreciation that I wish a Happy Thanksgiving to you U.S. folks – or Unhappy Thanksgiving if you prefer. Either way works.

Update: excellent comments as usual from you brilliant readers!  Keep an eye out for Chip’s response below, too.

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44 Responses to “ Unhappy Thanksgiving: When to Be Ungrateful ”

  1. Love this!I am known for using gratitude as the solution to everything, and you’re right, there is nothing like 1000 people telling what what me what I *should* do to create a sense of rebellion in me!

    What you resist, persists, and always grows stronger. I love Abe’s “Own it and let it go” philosophy. I think it’s so important to let people know not to let anything interfere with their alignment…even hundreds of reminders to be grateful!

  2. Sorry for the “what what” typo.

    That will teach me to read what I’m typing before I hit SEND.

  3. That’s funny, Kimberly – I didn’t even notice the “what what” till you pointed it out!

    Can I just say how happy I am to hear I’m not the only one who has a tendency to resist whatever everyone else is pushing? lol

    It continues to amaze me how quickly things move when we allow what we’re feeling. I LOVE how that happens.

    Thanks for starting this conversation, Kimberly! 🙂

  4. I like this, Ryan: “you can’t get over something that’s still in you.”

    That sums it up nicely, I believe, as to why it’s important to honor what we’re feeling. Thanks for chiming in! (And for all the link love you send this way!)
    🙂

  5. Stephen says:

    I get a case of the “bah-humbugs” this time of year and always kinda wondered about it. I have much to appreciate and I do most of the time. But y’all are right. I hate being told what to do! Tell me I “should be thankful” and inside I turn into an ungracious, cranky old coot. “I’ll be thankful when I WANT to… You’re not the boos of me!” 😉

    Happy celebrations to all.

  6. Stephen, I’m going to call that a “healthy response” (maybe because I have it, too) where we insist on finding our own answers rather than blindly answering the wishes and dictates of another.

    Feels like it could be a response to a strong connection to our Inner Guidance/Being/Self (whatever you want to call it).

    Thanks for the good company in this trait, my friend. ha ha

  7. Reeya says:

    Another good one Jeannette!!

    This just happened to me saturday. I was in the “getting dressed mode” and started noticing how nothing fit me anymore, how my “skinny” clothes were all in good condition, and the things that did fit…were sooo old. AGGGGGGHHH!!

    So I got depressed because I didn’t like the outfit I settled on and this brought out, 1. How I could use some new clothes but 2. didn’t have the money for them now and 3. How maybe I should’ve never brought this darn house because if 4. I had stayed in my tiny butt apartment, i could buy all the clothes I wanted….Jeez!!!

    But not too long after my “rampage of contrast”….i remembered how I felt back in my apartment and how I hated it because it was too small for us.

    So my thoughts shifted slightly and I started thinking about how the house I got was exactly what I wanted. Therefore, I needed to be grateful for what I have now and let it go…besides…I didn’t look that bad. HAHAA.

    Last night (Sunday) I opened my inbox and saw an offer from my old gym (hadn’t been there in over 2 yrs) for $46 a month for 12 months with no enrollment fee. WHAT, no enrollment fee!!

    So I signed up today because I figured I can loose the weight I want, deal with the clothes I can fit now, and by the time these holiday’s are over, I should be able to treat myself to new clothes once again and be on my way back to skinny Reeya!!

    And good one Ryan with the “FER Method” tip.

    I will try to keep thisin mind the next time I have one of these episodes…because I probably will! 🙂

    Cheers!!

  8. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Cool tip here Jeannette.

    I like the FER method: Face, Embrace and Release the emotions.

    Covering negative emotions up allows them to fester. It’s better to own ’em and let them go. When you own these feelings, you REALLY have to own them. So it’s fine to be ungrateful, angry or upset for a short period of time for you can’t get over something that’s still in you.

    Thanks for sharing and have a powerful day!

    Ryan

  9. A rampage of contrast!! ha! Reeya, you’re my hero!

    I think that rampage of contrast is what made room for remembering why you’re in the house vs. the apartment, and that’s what allows for the reconnection to appreciation.

    I’m going to remember that – rampage of contrast – next time I’m in one! lol

    Thanks for commenting on this one, Reeya. 🙂

  10. Dana - Your Inspired Coach says:

    Jeannette,

    I think the vibe was so unified today across everyone I made contact with and this post is right on.

    I was driving to work thinking a great blog post would be how to do something you HATE in the vortex. Still thinking about that and some of the Martha Beck tips I’ve learned about doing something I hate.

    I also had some hissy fits and busted some balls, as they say, at court and got the ball seriously rolling in some of my more challenging cases that the DAs want to avoid.

    It all felt great. Sometimes that’s where the relief is. Sometimes confronting your feelings or what is irritating you head on is the best way to go to get back to feeling good again, mostly because it gives you CLARITY about what you are wanting and passion to make it clear to all involved.

  11. Agreed, Dana, that often there is relief in what Reeya might call allowing a “rampage of contrast.”

    I also agree a series of posts on doing stuff we hate in the vortex would be highly interesting and helpful. If you ever want to guest post one of those, we’d love to share it here!
    🙂

  12. Janette says:

    Wonderful! I’ve only recently learned to love my hissy fits and wow, what a great source of appreciation LOL

  13. Janette, I’d be curious to hear from you (I’ll pay attention to my own example, too) as to whether loving our hissy fits increase, reduces or doesn’t affect their frequency.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Ahhhhhh! Thank you, Jeannette! Feeling gratitude for you sharing such an important part of living & being human! Found myself annoyed several times today and then lecturing myself for being annoyed. Must be positive, must be happy, must be grateful, stop thinking that person is a jerk, that is just not nice. Then, comes, just get over yourself, be annoyed and happy about it! It’s ok! The a battle begins, to be annoyed or not to be annoyed. Yes, yes!!! Just feel it, own it, and move on & well you don’t have to like everyone! Loving that! Helps me breath, relax, and love myself so matter how I feel! Grateful for the beautiful reminder!

  15. Oh yes, I know that routine, Elizabeth. lol (Obviously.)

    Your “be annoyed and be happy about – it’s ok!” is well stated and much appreciated. Thanks for finding and appreciating the point of this post. 🙂

  16. Yay for declaring yourself the Boss, Harmony! Your hissy fit call is SO up the alley of this post!

  17. LOALoveCoach says:

    Hi Jeannette,

    Thanks for this post! I love it. I struggle myself with the old adage….”If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I wonder whose bright idea that one was!

    I have been in a funk for a couple of days and finally asked my hubby to hold the basket for me (Thank Allison at http://pax.com). I explained that I needed to dump and that all he had to do was to say “Anything else?” whenever I paused.

    He did try to give me advice from time to time but he did pretty good for the first try. Me? It helped a lot. Just looking him in the eye and saying why I am upset with life at the moment felt really good.

    I realized I am not really upset with the people, it is just the circumstances life has unfolded for me. Hmmm….something here about accepting what is? LOL.

    Anyway, thanks for the kinship. Releasing ‘negative’ energy outloud DOES feel good from time to time!!

    Happy Thanksgiving and….

    Hug a grumpy person today!!

    Love,
    Catherine

  18. You crack me up, Catherine: “… something about accepting what is?” lol

    Maybe the “if you don’t have anything nice to say” adage could still work if we just applied it in speaking to others. Maybe.

    Nice to hear from you on this one – thanks for commenting, my friend!

  19. Harmony Harrison says:

    You know what else I don’t like? Pretty much being told to do anything. So when I’m told to be grateful, the little kid in me whispers, “Don’t wanna.” When I’m told to release feelings, that little kid sulks and drags. When I’m told to eat my vegetables or take my vitamin D, that cool little kid says, “Meh.”

    The funny thing is, I love feeling gratitude and appreciation through and through, until it tingles in my cells. I love that whoosh of releasing the so-called negatives. And I *really* love eating vegetables.

    It’s just that I like to do it when *I* like to do it. And not a minute sooner, thank you very much.

    I think that this is about who gets to be the boss of my emotions, who gets to be the boss of my vibration, who gets to be the boss of ME, period.

    Thanksgiving isn’t the boss of me. (Ooh, I feel sacrilege coming on.)

    Instead, I’m the boss of my own giving of thanks. So are we all. And may we each do so * if * when * how * we each desire, so we are true to our inner truth.

    Same goes for eating broccoli. Which I love. Mmm, I can smell it steaming in the kitchen right now… ***ooh, teeny appreciative flutters***

  20. Elizabeth says:

    Catherine,

    Love your “Hug a grumpy person today”! Reminds of many years ago when I worked with a grumpy person. He was so grumpy that I decided to put Milky Way candy bars (once a week) taped on his office door with a note that said, “Hoping this will sweet’in you up”! It took several weeks, but he finally realized I was the one putting them on his door, he gave me a big hug and said thank you, “how did you know I love Milky Ways”! Ahhh!

  21. Love that story, Elizabeth!

  22. LOALoveCoach says:

    Good one, Elizabeth! I have a story too. One time I was at the grocery store and a lady was buying a violet. The cashier was having trouble with the machine and apologized as the customer was getting a little stressed.

    “My husband is out there waiting for me and he always gets annoyed when I take longer than he expects.” After I paid and left the store, I noticed a sour faced mad in a little blue ford.

    The license plate?

    Grumpy! For real!

    Love,
    Catherine

    Grumpier Old Men has me rolling in the aisles every time I see it!

  23. LOALoveCoach says:

    Hey Jeannette,

    I am craving a retweet button!! retweetmeme.com

    Love,
    Catherine

  24. Ahh! What a good idea, Catherine!

    I’m on it. (Thanks for the suggestion/request!)

  25. ChipEFT says:

    Jeannette,

    Although there is a lot of power in appreciation, I think the real meat of your post has to do with owning how you feel. This is a first step in being okay with where you are. For some us it might do well to break down the process a little.

    We know from Abraham and Paul that we can use our feels better feels worse emotional guidance systems to navigate how we are doing with creating our lives. But the truth of the matter is we each experience the whole gambit of human emotions. In a way, it is like how most of us see the entire visible spectrum. Our vision represents our physical data, and our emotions represent the vibration of the thoughts we are thinking.

    Each emotion sends us a message. Anger tells us when something does not fit with the way we think things should be. Guilt tells us we are judging ourselves for something we did or did not do. Sadness tells us what we are attached to.

    So for instance, someone cuts you off in traffic, you feel angry because the thought you are thinking is that the person should not have done that. It does not fit the way you think the world should be. Anger not only entirely appropriate, it is the perfect emotional response to the thought/situation.

    In the same way, you start to feel angry when people push gratitude on you. Anger then is again the perfect way to feel.

    Is there any time when an emotion is inappropriate. No, the emotion is always a perfect vibrational to the thought you are thinking. It is similar to the way the color green is a perfect match to the vibrational frequency of light reflected by a leaf.

    A problem does come about when we judge ourselves for the way we feel. IF we feel angry or hateful (perfect vibrational responses to thoughts that don’t serve you,) we feel as if these emotions are unacceptable. We don’t want to feel them, and that makes us feel worse, so we switch subjects to avoid feeling those nasty aweful thoughts.

    This judgment is like being angry at our eyes for seeing the color green.

    When we do this judging of our emotions, we have become a step removed from the thought we are thinking, which is still producing vibrationally aligned emotions we are ignoring. So even though we are holding to other thoughts, our dominate vibration is creating things we don’t want and a habit of thought/creation is being manifested.

    So like you said, the trick is to recognize what you feel, and do like you said, trace it back to the thought it is pointing out. At this point you are able to recognize that the thought does not serve you, and the emotion is perfect in pointing this out to you. When you recognize that your bad feeling thought is perfect, you can be okay with the emotion, and you relax your resistance to the thought. And the more you can relax about what you don’t want, the faster it can evolve.

    Whew. Lol.
    Chip

  26. Thank you, Chip. “No such thing as an inappropriate emotion.” I will be remembering those words and invite others to as well.

    So judging an emotion or feeling is like judging the guidance system. Ridiculous! Better to USE the guidance system rather than deny it.

    You are brilliant.

    Thank you for this post!! If I could spotlight it for all readers, I would! (In fact, maybe I can in the post itself …)

  27. Jessica Earl says:

    Doin’ a little dance like those athletes in the video over this post! HA!

    I was JUST thinking about a similar topic. I feel so in sync with you lately Jeannette!! Awesome!

    I do think there are many times where people (including me) mistake denial for “being positive”. That’s why sometimes when I allow myself to be angry I actually feel better, and other times when I do, I feel worse. In the first case, I’m releasing resistance. In the second case I’m dwelling and focusing on the negative. There IS a difference.

    (Side note: OMG! I forgot I was replying to this, and I said to myself, what’s this tab? and there was this reply… the one I thought I had posted!) I think this must be for some cool cosmic reason that it was waiting for me/didn’t post. haha!

    I became even happier when you gave me permission to be unhappy Jeannette! LOL. I am such a rebel- “Don’t tell me what to do!”… and so many articles/people are like that. But, clearly you have it figured out. It isn’t about telling people what to do, but merely giving them the option! heehee! I LOVE options!

    Anyhow, I’m so loving this because … well just because I GET it! Need I say more?!

  28. Jessica Earl says:

    oh my gosh! When I started that post, I was the 3rd response! haha, got some reading to do! 😉

  29. Yes, amen to allowing ourselves options, Jessica!

    I think this is particularly brilliant and well said, my friend:

    “I do think there are many times where people (including me) mistake denial for “being positive”. That’s why sometimes when I allow myself to be angry I actually feel better, and other times when I do, I feel worse. In the first case, I’m releasing resistance. In the second case I’m dwelling and focusing on the negative. There IS a difference.”

    I actually think it would be worthwhile exploring that in more detail … the difference between denial and positivity.

    Hmm …

    … yes, like minds, my friend!! Thanks for posting, Jessica. 🙂

  30. Wow! The most important thing I got out of reading your post is that we should honour how we feel. Sometimes on this personal development journey we can try to be so zen, that we are in fact going backwards.

    I think it takes courage and insight to admit, that at times you do not feel grateful and be ok with that.

    Thanks for the post!

  31. I totally agree with you on the courage it takes, CMMM!

    I think we LOA savvy folks who are highly trained about the power of our thoughts & feelings find ourselves particularly reluctant to entertain the less than fabulous ones.

    Thanks for the “courage spotlight” you point out that we all deserve. 🙂

  32. I love the cosmic coincidences that lead to your post Jeannette and how the energies collaborate the world over ~ yesterday I drew my customary Moonday card for my community and the message was one of Owl energy ~ cutting through shadows to illuminate the truth and snapping out of any lies or denial within which sets you free and restores wholeness. Which is exactly as you mentioned, you can’t keep pressurising yourself into avoiding the shadow, embrace it and move on!

    Bright Blessings,
    Stella*

  33. Wow! What a beautiful way to say it, Stella!

    I like it so much, I’m reprinting it again:

    Owl energy ~ cutting through shadows to illuminate the truth and snapping out of any lies or denial within which sets you free and restores wholeness.

    Wow, I like that. Thank you, Stella!

  34. Glad says:

    Embracing my human-ness: my imperfect, sometimes grumpy, real feelings and all human-ness.

    You are right – allowing yourself to feel the grumpy and loving yourself in spite of it, is the quickest way through it and past it.

    So wise!

    xo

  35. It IS a form of unconditional love for Self, isn’t it, Glad? Which is an even better reason to practice it.
    🙂
    Thank you!

  36. Leslie Richter says:

    I think what happens when we are told to be grateful is that it immediately feels like there is no space for authenticity.

    It’s when you get around that and move on with the flow of things that the cream naturally flows to the top.

    And lets face it there is nothing like growing a few horns to make a person deepen their feelings of gratitude when it naturally comes around.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all – grumpy or grinning.

  37. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you are the smartest people I know! Each one of these posts is helping me deepen my understanding of what I was trying to say here, and your contribution is no exception, Leslie.

    Yes, authenticity. I do get particularly grumpy when that one’s missing. lol

  38. Donna says:

    The first thing that came to me upon reading your post was the whole “practice what you preach” thing at this time of year. I’m back in Australia now, and we don’t do Thanksgiving, but I remember what it was like when I lived in America, and I LOVED this time of year!

    Someone above talked about authenticity, and that is what comes to mind. It’s easy for everyone else to sit there and go “Gratitude is the attitude! Be thankful! Don’t forget to bless!” But are they walking their talk? Perhaps what was spinning you into grumpiness was more brushing up against the rote words?

    Genuine, heart-felt gratitude is fabulous. I recently went through (and am still on the cusp of) a period of really deep down anger, frustration, grumpy fed-up-with-everything-itis. In the back of my mind I received all these reminders and was saying to myself, you can lift yourself up out of this any time you want, you need to remember to be grateful for what you have!

    But I wasn’t. I didn’t even FEEL like being grateful. I was too busy being annoyed and frustrated at life. After a few weeks of it I got over it, and am starting to move back into that gratitude is the attitude vibe, and I’m feeling better.

    I think it’s very easy for everyone to go “Thanksgiving Week! Remember to be grateful” and even for them to offer token gratefulness at these dinners without really feeling it in the heart. Perhaps it is this lack of authenticity that you were feeling, rather than the actual reminder to be grateful that was bugging you?

  39. Agreed, Donna, that giving gratitude lip service is pointless – and it seems to be particularly popular this time of year. Authenticity is one of my core values, so when it’s AWOL I do strongly feel it.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective, my friend.

  40. When I read this, Jeannette, (and I LOVE it), I thought of something I heard in one of Wayne Dyer’s talks maybe 15 years ago. He asked the audience what you get when you squeeze an orange, and people said, obviously, “Orange juice.” He said that yes, what you get when you squeeze something is what’s inside of it. Duh.

    For people, though, it makes you think. If when you’re squeezed (aka stressed, have too much to do, encounter a challenging situation etc), you react with anger or frustration or discouragement or whatever, that’s what’s inside. Not just then but all the time. That’s what’s bubbling under the surface.

    My point is that we can act happy all we want and if we don’t shift what’s under the surface, all those happy faces and words and actions don’t change our vibration. I know this from personal experience.

    And the first thing I had to do to get to a point where I could change what was underneath (still a work in progress 😉 was let what was inside bubble up and out. I think that’s what you’re talking about here. And it’s SO important.

    So thanks for the indicator that I’m on the right path … bulldozing out the crud. 🙂

  41. All right, I don’t know about anyone else, but I am having a lot of fun with the thought of someone getting “squeezed” and having love and appreciation and joy pour out!! lol

    I might actually know a couple of those examples in real life .. hmm …

    Thanks for this, Ande. I love what you’ve inspired within me by sharing these words! (Although this certainly isn’t the first time I’ve experienced that with you.)
    😉

  42. Jessica Earl says:

    On that OJ example that Ande brings up… when you squeeze an orange you are left with more than just juice, you get a really messy and “juice-less” orange! ha!

    So that’s where I thought that example was going, but I like where it went anyhow.

  43. Funny, Jessica. I hadn’t thought of the messy, juice-less orange. 🙂

    I love the idea of all that appreciation and joy pouring out, Jeannette!

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