As I’ve written here before, I am using the Headspace app to do guided meditations. There is a course called Appreciation which aims to help you “[d]iscover a renewed sense of gratefulness for life”.
I was in my twenties before I discovered that there were genuinely people who were grateful for and enjoyed life. I’m not talking about making the best of things or finding moments of joy or moments of peace that pass and then you remember them fondly. I know those things exist as I’ve experienced them myself. But these people’s overall assessment of life was that it was something to be thoroughly appreciated. Appreciated as something precious, even.
Blame it on my rural Scottish Calvinist upbringing that teaches and rigidly enforces the idea that seeking pleasure is wrong, a sin. Definitely letting the side down anyway. Or blame it on my decades of mental illness. Not the fluffy, milder variants that are suitable for awareness campaigns but the version that means I’m sitting here typing this with a black eye and two broken ribs. (So there won’t be any jokes for a while because it’s going to hurt to laugh for the next month.)
Life is not something to be grateful for. Life is something to endure, a trial, an ordeal, something to suffer before you return back to the darkness and the silence. Maybe there’s a point to it. I don’t know but I think there isn’t. Thinking you should be grateful for this is just fucking Stockholm syndrome.