“Other people have it so much worse.”
This is a common sentiment I hear people express when they’re feeling unhappy, depressed, or anxious, but who don’t believe they have any right to feel that way.
They have a good job with benefits.
They have a nice home.
They can afford gas and groceries.
They’re able to spend money on things for fun.
They have friends or family who love them.
They may even have a wonderful partner and kids.
So, they believe, they have nothing to complain about.
But when did sharing how we feel, that we desire more, or that things aren’t aligned anymore become the same as ungrateful complaining?
When I left my very first long-term relationship after nearly seven years, it was during a time of massive transition for me. I was just out of college and really waking up to myself. In the process of doing so, I realized I wasn’t happy. Not in my relationship, my job, the house we’d bought together, and most things in between. I’d been working so hard to achieve all the things the world told me to achieve. And when I did, far earlier than most people, I realized it wasn’t for me.
After our split, my ex called me ungrateful.
But I wasn’t ungrateful; I was simply aware of what no longer felt aligned and had been actively working to make the changes I felt I needed to make. Which, when we make decisions that are best for our hearts, they’re often best for all hearts involved, even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time.
With growth comes outgrowing.
Not always, but often.
This is something I’ve said and will continue to say for years. Some jobs, homes, relationships, and situations survive our endless evolution, healing, and growth, to be sure. And many don’t. This is the nature of being human in this life. We grow. We change. Not everything or everyone can (or wants) to grow and change with us.
Wanting more, different, and better doesn’t make us ungrateful.
You can be grateful your partner isn’t abusive and still want to leave.
You can be grateful for a great job and benefits and still hate going to work.
You can be grateful for your home and still desire a massive change.
You can be grateful for your community and still want different connections.
You can be grateful for what you have and still feel unhappy or depressed.
The damaging rhetoric that says wanting more, different, or better negates gratitude completely is a lie perpetuated by people who are wildly uncomfortable claiming what they want or dealing with change.
As well as by people who have lost someone or something because another person decided to trust their heart and make necessary changes. Their beliefs and feelings that you’re ungrateful for wanting change doesn’t make it true.
And, usually, the reason we end up unhappy, depressed, and anxious is that we deny our truth because we think we’re being ungrateful.
Really, we’ve just grown. We’re just expanding and desiring more. We’re raising our worth and tolerating less of what doesn’t feel right and good. This is a beautiful, messy, and heartbreaking part of growth and healing. And if we’re not leaning in and trusting our hearts, we’re stagnating, dying a slow death while we’re still alive.
What do you desire?
And where do you need to stop making yourself wrong for wanting it?