"Such less marks!". "So fat!". "Absolutely clueless about your future!". "Such a less salary!". "How can you not be aware of the latest fashion trend?!". "So and so's offspring are doing so well!".
"You are just not good enough!". "What! You can't cook?!". "You work such late hours, you are a horrid parent!". "You take help to run your own home, what a shame!". "You are not good enough for this role.".
"You don't even know this simple thing!". "Everything is your fault!". "Whatever you do is wrong!".
That sums up the last 3 decades of my life. I allowed the world to dictate what I thought of myself. I accepted their version of me - the black sheep, the socially awkward, the good for nothing, the embarrassment of the family, the extended family, and the workplace.
3 decades. Of laughing at their jokes about myself. Of allowing me to be judged for everything that defined me.
On a particularly dark night, I stood at my home's balcony, having decided to end this story. A tug on my sleeve distracted me. The child stood there, rubbing her sleepy eyes. She wanted her lullaby. I walked away from that balcony.
Although she saved me that night, I hit a low point multiple times after that. It has been a long painful and journey since that dark night to where I am today.
I started reading about and practicing the concepts of manifestation, the law of attraction, and gratitude - secretly. I didn't want it to be another anecdote to be joked about in public.
I have always loved to write. It is the only way I can express myself.
The power of the written word worked for me.
Although Life didn't magically become better in the blink of any eye, it did become more livable from one day to another.
I came across an ad on my social media for Gratitude somewhere in December 2018. Today marks the 763rd day since I first started using the app. 763 days of writing a Gratitude note.
On the 'Amazing' days, the Thank you Note is a bundle of pictures, about a dozen things that I am grateful for.
On the 'Good' days, I jot down about the tiny things that made me smile - the bird outside my window pane, the tickle fight with the child, the sunset, every green signal on my drive, the fact that I finally caught up with the dog before she pounced on the cat! On the 'Bad' days, I jot down "Grateful that I am still breathing."
Gratitude (both the app and the practice), hasn't magically made my life a piece of cake or a bed of roses, or a walk in the park.
It has made me grateful for being able to experience (and survive) everything - the good, the bad, the ugly, the nasty, the painful.
Both the app and the practice have helped me build my ability to find something, anything to be grateful for, every.single.day - nonstop for the past 757 days.
What about those jabs that I spoke of at the start of this article? Well, they haven't stopped coming - however, thanks to Gratitude, I have learned to stand up, speak up, walk away, and then do my own thing.
Today, I shout from the rooftops about this app and the practice. When they call me 'God's favorite child', I proudly open the app and show them my notes - from the amazing, good, and bad days.
I have nothing to hide and I am proud of experiencing each of these 757 days. I see so many lives transformed through this practice and app, and I feel blessed and honored to have helped another lost soul.
I am thankful for all that I am blessed with, every single day. Thank you, Universe.