Cleveland Indians Loss Provides Opportunity to Cultivate Gratitude

A while back I wrote about the practice of keeping a gratitude journal.  In it I mentioned that before actively practicing gratitude I would lie in bed after a bad day and ruminate on what went wrong and worry about everything else that might go wrong as a result.

Before integrating the regular practice of gratitude into my life, last night could have looked like this:  Me lying in bed reliving Perez’s atrocious pitching performance, re-experiencing the negative feelings of the loss, wondering if this team actually has what it takes to beat the Tigers and worrying if my poor parents and sister, Tribe devotees, would be disappointed again this year come play-off time.

What actually happened was this…

I went to bed bummed about the outcome, not so much from a win/ loss perspective, but for those players like Corey Kluber who pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings, in no small part due to some great defensive work:  Jason Kipnis who had some spectacular plays at second, Nick Swisher who is possibly still feeling the pain from a full split catch at first base, and the outfielders who made some great snags.

When it came time to write in my gratitude journal for the day, I got the opportunity to look at the game from a different perspective. Just like every night, I was presented with a choice about how I could choose to remember my day.  I could choose to go to bed like thousands of frustrated Indians fans last night or I could choose to look for the benefits of the event.  What made it into my gratitude journal last night about the game were the following two entries:

  •  Spending quality time with my husband and son watching the Indians
  •  Getting to watch eight exciting, quality innings of baseball

Would I have been able to come up with this response to this disappointing loss before beginning the cultivation of gratitude in my life?  My optimistic self says “Sure!”, but my realistic self says, “No, probably not.”  Cultivating gratitude has truly made a difference in how I choose to respond to events in my life.

As I stated in my first article on practicing gratitude, “Even on the worst days, we all have so much to be thankful for.  Mindfulness expert Jon Kabat Zinn says (please allow me the liberty to paraphrase) – As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than is wrong with you.”  I hope that Cleveland fans and players can remember this today.  Now go beat those Tigers!

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4 Responses to “Cleveland Indians Loss Provides Opportunity to Cultivate Gratitude”

  1. Janet Greene August 6, 2013 11:15 pm #

    Thanks for putting a great spin on a devastating loss. We were at the game with friends and enjoyed a great game – for the most part. It was a beautiful night and we had fun. I’m going to really try to look for something positive about tonight’s loss. I’m really serious.

    • Andrea Sharb August 8, 2013 11:48 am #

      Great to hear you’re looking for the positive. Sounds like there is already an appreciation of the night with friends and fun you had. Given time for more reflection, what else are you noticing that you might be grateful for with respect to the past couple of Indians’ games?

  2. Lisa Mallis August 8, 2013 8:54 am #

    Andrea –

    Thanks so much for the change in perspective. I appreciate that you shared the journey of your two sides (your optimistic self and your realistic self) – you reinforced that choosing to respond to events in our lives in a space of gratitude is a choice. The “attitude of gratitude” isn’t a switch you turn on and off (otherwise – it remains off!) but a daily awareness building activity, carefully cultivating your response. Thanks for the reminder that this doesn’t happen overnight!

    Lisa

    • Andrea Sharb August 8, 2013 11:43 am #

      Thank you for your comment Lisa. The ability to choose gratitude is a beautiful thing and the practice of gratitude is just that, a practice – the work of a lifetime – requiring the daily cultivation you reference.

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