Why “What are you grateful for?” is a stupid question

gratefulMy counselor gave me a few journaling prompts after discovering that just because I’m utterly incapable at explaining my emotions out loud, I’m actually pretty good at processing on paper. I suck at words but I’m also really good at them. I’m a being of contradictions.

I worked on one today while sitting at my favorite coffee shop and I wanted to share it.

What are you grateful for?

There are certain questions that are over asked, and therefore blown past without much thought.

How are you? Good.

Are you okay? Yes.

Both answers are memorized, reflexes, and probably lies.

This question is one of those.

What are you grateful for?

My family. My friends. My finances. Reflex answers. Good? True? Probably. But you can tear each one of them apart.

“I’m thankful for my family but my sibling is so mean. My parents are insane. This and that is wrong. Complain. Hurt. Loud arguments.”

“My friends, or lack there of, cause me pain and problems in this way.”

“I’m not actually that blessed financially. Sure, I may be in the top 10 or 1 percent of the world but I’m not rich.”

What are you TRULY grateful for?

The list is absolutely endless. But right now, in this moment, I’m having difficulty answering it.

I’m so beyond grateful for my family. I’m grateful for my friends and earthly possessions.

I’m grateful for freedom.

This probably sounds incredibly cliché and way too broad, like a fake answer, but it is the most honest I can get right now.

I’m grateful for the freedom to walk through my relationship with God at MY pace.

I’m grateful for the freedom to separate myself from the familiar so I can discover this insane world.

I’m grateful for the freedom that comes with writing.

I’m grateful for wings that have been bandaged and are ready to fly again.

What are you grateful for?

The freedom to say I don’t know.

Everything. And nothing.

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