Sarah: I've lived a really rough childhood and adulthood. And my mindset was crappy because I lived in crappy situations. It took me to be 27 years old, so 2019, to realize I needed to change my mindset in order to change my reality.
It went from me losing my job, to my apartment flooding, to being homeless with my ex at the time, to realizing he didn't give a crap. And I had to kind of stand up on my own two feet.
We finally got a house and I realized, holy crap, manifesting is real! Being thankful for every single thing is real. And it made me appreciate literally everything, from the pillows I sleep on to the air I breathe.
It makes me feel just so much better. And I've been on both spectrums - from all the way in the darkness to all the way to "Oh, my God, it's a miracle! This is magic. It's happening!"
And I feel everybody deserves to feel this way. So it took a dark place for me to get here.
Aarushi: It's an incredible journey you're talking about! So tell me about this phase. How did this transition happen? How did you change your mindset?
Sarah: Oh, man, it was very slow. I didn't realize I had to do it. I had the mindset of - Why me? Why is this happening to me? And I realized that was the problem.
And every day, I started saying one nice thing about myself with affirmations, talking to myself in the mirror, just really getting to know myself and breaking it down. And forgiveness was a big part of gratitude.
People don't realize that really goes hand in hand. In order to be grateful for something, you need to forgive the mistake or the lesson that you went through for that to happen.
And it's not always a straight road, it's an up and down. It's a roller coaster. And it's a constant thing. It's repetition.
Aarushi: It's interesting that you're talking about forgiveness. How Why do you think that is important and goes hand in hand with gratitude?
Sarah: Because we take so much stuff and so many people and our terrible situations for granted. And we don't realize our dark times are to help us grow as a person.
And I feel the more I've forgiven people and myself, the more gratitude I feel about everything around me. And people think I'm insane! They're like, "That doesn't work." I say, "Dude, try it, forgive yourself."
Forgive yourself for allowing people to hurt you. And then be grateful that you've had your back this whole entire time, and that you're on your own two feet. We all have bumps in the road.
Like right now I'm trying to get back on my feet after bad things, good things, and now it's just kind of mellowing out. So just take it one day at a time but forgive others and yourself. It's a big eye-opener because it just weighs you down if you don't.
Aarushi: You're right and I understand why people would say that it doesn't work because I think it's hard. It's something that challenges you and something that you have to really emotionally work on.
So, you must have had an experience as well. What challenges were you facing when you had to forgive yourself or other people?
Sarah: It started in January last year. My cat was mauled to death in my front yard by my neighbor's dogs and she died in my arms. February my dad died and no one told me until six hours later, so I missed saying goodbye to him.
That was hard. I ended up breaking up with my fiance of seven years because it was going nowhere. And it took all of that for me to see - wow, you don't care at all. And then my uncle died, well he was actually murdered.
Then my family kind of split up after my uncle died. So it's literally just trial after trial. And I'm just keeping it together because when you feel like your life's falling apart, it's really falling together.
It's hard to believe it but I look back on all my situations, and I'm thankful for them now because I dodged a bullet there and I didn't know it. I cried for four months, but I'm good now.
And then I ended up doing really good. After my ex left, I got a job. And I was fostering cats and it was going good. I just felt like something wasn't clicking. So, for my mental health, I moved back down to the cities.
And now I'm just catching back up on my art and on my mental health. So that's where I'm at right now.
Aarushi: So at the end, I just want to ask you what would you say if you had to tell someone why they should have gratitude in their life, why should they be grateful for the little things that they have, that they might be taken for granted? Why is this important?
Sarah: Because somebody has it worse than you and you need to be thankful for where you're at. Because it doesn't matter, the scales could tip at any moment, and the more grateful you are, you could have a better opportunity right at the door.
The more ungrateful you are, guess what? Your car might break down and your house might blow up. It's hard to explain the process. It wasn't overnight, believe me.
There are still days where I don't want to do, that I think this is stupid. But then I realize in the long run, I feel better, and being grateful makes you truly, honestly feel good inside and that's what we all want in life. It's to feel better and to feel happy. So you want to feel happy? Be full of gratitude.