There’s this post going around in social media which says something about being grateful if you have a job now, because there are many others who have lost theirs. It goes on by giving examples of how you should push yourselves further to be more productive, more efficient and perform better in your job. Well, it may not be the intent, but it is how it comes across to me. 

Let me start with this. For those of you who have been following me for a while, or who know me, you probably know that I’m a big fan of gratitude. After going through the ups and downs of the past 3 years, gratitude is one of those things that have been part of my core. 

As I move along in life, especially in the recent months, there’s something else that I am beginning to discover and trying to intentionally live by. That is self-compassion

I used to think that being grateful means that I should not be complaining. That I should just bury my head (and my whole self) at work because hey, I should be thankful I have a job. So in the past weeks, I worked and worked and worked and worked. In my mind, I feel like I should just grab every opportunity now, because one, two or three months from now, I wouldn’t know what projects would come my way. The fear of losing one’s job is real, I get that. I deal with it every single day as I coach the people themselves who have lost their jobs. But you know where this ‘work-work-work mode’ led me? It led me to stress. I got stressed managing all the competing priorities of projects I was involved in. I got stressed sitting infront of my work desk for about 12 hours each day, spending very little time with family. It got so bad that even the smallest things stressed me out, and that I began feeling the physical manifestations of stress (hyperacidity, neck pain, etc).

All these because I thought that gratitude and self-compassion don’t go together. All these because I thought that saying no to an opportunity, taking a break, missing a meeting, not being productive, etc were signs of not being grateful. 

Now I know that these two can be friends. That I can (and must) acknowledge and accept that I may not operating 100% everyday and that doesn’t make me less grateful. That I can say no, and that doesn’t me ungrateful. That I can take a break, step back and heal… and I don’t have to feel guilty about it. 

Gratitude and self-compassion will get us through our days, but the future will always be uncertain. This is where my most important core belief comes in…. Faith. I’ve realised that the fears brought about by all the uncertainty made me want to be in control and take control of the future… To be prepared by saying yes to every single opportunity that comes by.

The saying “opportunity only knocks once” is not something I subscribe to. I believe that while we should make and grab opportunities for ourselves, we do this always with gratitude, self-compassion and faith. Everything is well orchestrated in God’s time. 

Thank you for reading until the end. I pray for your health, safety, courage and faith as we all go through this new reality.