Yep! It’s kind of like when you’ve been shoved off the edge of a cliff and you’re now on the bottom of a gully with a bone sticking out of your leg and some helpful soul comes along and says, “You know what your problem is? You really need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.”
I mean, sheesh, like shove that bone back in place and walk it off. What a whiner! Not even grateful she’s still breathing. You’re lucky to be alive. It could always be worse, you know.
Well sure, it could always be worse! It could also be a helluva lot better.
‘Tis the season of Thanksgiving, of roasted turkeys and Norman Rockwell paintings, and yet I feel a strong nudge to pause all the festivities for a moment and just give a special shout out to those suffering from, “Irritable Gratitude Syndrome.”
It’s a bit like looking at that turkey and admonishing him, what an ingrate! Here you are warm, about 165 degrees really, safe, surrounded by family, and you’re acting like you just got the crappy drumstick out of the deal….
Nobody ever considers how the turkey might feel about all this “gratitude.”
I suffer from Irritable Gratitude Syndrome quite frequently. Justifiable, legitimate, “not grateful,” and for good reason. Those times when you’re like, “Thank you for salvation, for breath…….uh, that’s it Lord. I got nothing! This whole situation is just a crap sandwich with no end in sight. Grateful I haven’t developed Job’s boils? Yet….?”
You have to watch those “yets,” that future tripping. If all you can focus on is being grateful for all the bad things that haven’t happened yet, “at least we aren’t homeless,” then just cancel the gratitude quest entirely. Future tripping leads to nothing but fear and anxiety. Then you’re ungrateful and now full of fear and anxiety to boot! Come back to the present, into His presence.
I like the advice and suggestions at the end of both of the articles, but the second one really nailed it.
“Hug your pillow.
Hug your kids.
Hug the dog.
Hug the cat.
Hug the UPS man. You get the picture. Hugging helps”
Yep, hug everybody you can, early and often. Come back to the present, back into His presence, and be reassured because so many of the people in the Bible suffered from Irritable Gratitude Syndrome too, Job for sure, Jonah all cranky about His worm, Jeremiah the Weeping Prophet, and Elijah who had to be fed by hand. Irritable Gratitude Syndrome, it’s a real thing.
I also enjoyed this NY times article by David DeSteno, “Why Gratitude Is Wasted on Thanksgiving.”
Yep! Happy Irritable Gratitude Syndrome, people.