The Positive Power Of Gratitude

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The perception of our current world is that we live in a place where people think they are owed something. As a ride share driver, I have my fair share of horror stories. One of the entitlements I have experienced as a ride share driver is the right that it’s okay to belittle or talk down to me which I experienced on my second right last night on my attempt to Uber. I almost lost my shit just a little bit.

One of the hardest thing about be a behavioral blog share driver is having compassion in people. Although I am human, it happens very seldom, but the one’s that push my buttons the most are the individuals who:

  1. Act snobby and have no need to be (You’re either really struggling, you’re over confident and you really don’t have reason to be, or you think your better than someone) its low-key insecurity
  2. Have no manners or respect for anyone. It preceives as entitled
  3. You use your achievements against someone.
  4. You result to insults. Perceives as abusive.
  5. You threaten with an act of abuse of power. Seems pretty sketchy.

Let me tell you the fabulous experience as one thing that I was told which was an attempted insult was “What drug are you using” which made me smile back and say “Nothing. I’m just a happy person and will not let anyone rain on my parade. I am sorry you seem bitter and unhappy. But I don’t let things get me down. I beat the odds and depend on myself. I don’t need anyone following me around to validate me. I mean I might need someone to follow me around just so when jerks push my buttons because my anger issues come from this systematics bullshit.”

First and foremost, I don’t even know how it escalated so quickly. They couple was gay (and usually the LGBT are my people), who had the most adorable dog (in San Antonio, we can deny rides with animals) which since I am a fur mom, I didn’t mind one bit. Thankfully my first passenger rode with me which I could tell he was a good guy. Might have had underlying intentions at first but was very respectable and funny as hell. Ironically he had a feeling and at first I took it as “maybe he’s trying to get in my pants” but I didn’t allow that to be the overall perception of him. He was pretty fly for a white guy and had a hell of an amazing story which surfaced the injustice and unfairmessthat white men also face by a Latino dominated city who doesn’t live in the Dominion or the Alamo Heights zip code. Which his advise for the group we associated with was “If you have a license to carry and carry your gun in public, don’t do it.” Which reflecting back at the events and the recent shooting that happen at the Mission Flea Market this past Sunday and the rise in gun killings and suicides during the midst of COVID-19 that has risen in San Antonio, TX. I can rationally see why.

I complemented his coordination of outfit which I thought he was slaying it, until the personality matched the beat up face and the failed Botox attempt his face represented, which my comment was I wish San Antonio, TX would be more fashion forward, which I asked “Am I being offensive” and ended with “I know my flaws. Tell to shut up cause I am a chatty box as I understand many customers prefer a quiet ride sometimes” which the couple responded to “no your fine” and began to quiz me on the writing and the accomplishments, which when they asked where the book was sold said currently on Amazon but close to getting it sold at Barnes and Nobles, which the 70’s reject replied with “are their even Barnes and Nobles in San Antonio” in a condescending tone. After telling them the places Barnes and Nobles are followed with “I don’t know where any of those places are at” which followed with my reply “If you’re high class then its hard to believe that you don’t know where La Cantera since you it’s the boogie shopping center as it’s the only place where a Neiman Marcos and Saks in located in the city.” Which just began the insults and the systematic stereotyping which ended leading to the “what drug are you on.” He even forced me to do an illegal turn as he began to act victimized which I replied to “this bandwagoning and gaslighting attempt is signs of narcissism. Since mental health is a common variable in the midst of COVID, you may want to check to see if this pandemic is not affecting you” which he said you’re not a psychologist. Which I rebuttaled with “I am a social behavioral blogger and going back to gain my psychology degree as my book and my blog has afforded me another chance to return to school so I can help the world as I have been offered a scholarship to one of the programs here.” He was revolted and appeared a little sketch and was kindly interrupted by my “driver in training” which him dating someone that looked like was nineteen while he looked like my long lost grandpa twice removed would of probably escalated into a bustle, which because of systematics would have had him charged with more than assault charge, domestic violence charge, immediately prosecuted, and probably some other additional charge for making false accusations which Bethany (my legal team said this morning) more than likely a hate crime against a Latin Woman since he appeared to eighty something and a white man. Which thankfully my “driver in training” prevented a whole mess for him and time that I didn’t waste in dealing with the whole Pendejada.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget the highest is not utter words, but to live by them

John F. Kennedy

One of the most common things that people ask me is how I stay so positive. If you read my book or you know my backstory, my answer is “I have no clue sometimes.” As I am one to take accountability of my flaws and pendejadas (which let me just say I am always working to improve) will be the first to say jokingly as truth be told the traumatic events don’t haunt me anymore always say, I am a poster child of childhood trauma, adolescent pain, and history of so many bad decisions. Which is why I admired my first passenger as he was very humbled and very gracious that a woman driving at night was probably working to put food on the table. He confirmed that when he I told him and the two amazing individuals we met on a pendejada to calm my nerves that “how can anyone think that when it’s obvious that a woman is trying to make a living” which I also shared the misperception that me working Uber is me being a “mobile woman of the night.” Which made some jokes by the two male counterparts I friended that night. After getting home, I was inspired to write, which now has “The Keys Gained on a Journey of an Unraveled Road” four chapters in, which gratitude is one of the biggest things I learned from this journey that continues to keep me humble, share amazing life experiences with, get to hear people’s stories; which ultimately brings up social problems we all face and tend to just accept, and not address. Which ultimately is why I feel positive change never happens. You have individuals using the bandwagon effect to make causes that are meant to make positive change turn into a violent act, which makes peace groups turn into hate groups; which I ask myself why do we still have hate when there’s already so many things that are plaguing the world. Gratitude I realize was my ticket to the state I am now.

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I began reading the “Gratitude Diaries” by Janice Kaplan who is an amazing writer by the way, helped find peace in a dark time when I faced a time in Houston that I had nothing to lose and nothing to gain. I have a quote on my home page the following original quote: “When all bets are off and the only thing your fighting for is yourself, you have to build the courage to fight. Because you matter. In the end, win or lose and when you don’t beat yourself up, you gained something you never once had. You gained courage.” Many people have a fear I’ve noticed of hitting rock bottom. Some that hit rock bottom either fight to end up giving up on themselves and life in general which is a red flag for depression and other enabled bad behavior. Many of those individuals made mistakes. Those courageous enough to restart will work their ass off consistently to gain grace. Some already giving up on life will just engage in that enabled bad behavior. I feel it’s not on purpose, I feel it’s deflection of the pain and the reality they don’t want to face. I mean let’s be real, the pandemic has surfaced a lot of this as people still to this very day don’t want to admit there is a virus. I don’t want to believe that it’s the entire truth that people do this out of narcissism. I feel they do it out of the fear of facing the reality that is truly scary to confront. But once you gain courage. I strongly believe you take the steps in beating the odds. “The Gratitude Diaries” made me come to realization that I the biggest thing you have to be gracious of is yourself. The second thing that you need to be gracious of, is the sacrifices people are willing to give you at your biggest time on need. When you are rock bottom. Naomi and Ashley, two of my amazing sister in arms always showed that. My childhood friends Cristina, Adrian, Rachel, Sarah, Jennifer, Jacky, and many others sacrificed their own perceptions standing up for me when I was high school misfit and reject, my abuelas, my dad, and my entire family in San Antonio made the sacrifices their whole life’s to make sure I had a better one, and my Houston family that I adore and miss very much; some in heaven and some still fighting; appreciate them ultimately for the strength and the courage they help evoke from a scared entitled pre-madonna who never thought discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and retaliation would never happen in the workplace. The gratitude I had for them made me realize I owe it to myself to fight for my right to be treated fairly, made me stand up for those who couldn’t speak up when they were being treated unfairly. It was the collaboration of those who sacrificed for me and struggled as they began to tell their story of the unfairness they experienced in their lifetime. It made me want to fight for the unfair treatment the world faces. The gratitude in the journey helped me become slowly and surely a power not to be reckoned with as I so much unconditional love and gratitude for the time she took to tell me why I needed to this as the editing of the book had her say “you have a powerful message” and followed with “you will be the voice of the people.” It was hard to do of course as it was scary, but gratitude made me face that fear and give thanks to the Universe for providing me what could be deemed a lifelong opportunity.

The war of social norms is a never ending losing war. The need to fit in is just a game of dog each dog I feel in a ocean full of sharks. It’s not that’s it negative, it’s truth. One of the things that I realized was that observing behavior patters was my ability to be one step ahead of the game. If you reflect on a time when you had a feeling about something but you talked yourself out of it, that feeling was on point in the end. Of course there are sometimes when you misperceived a person, but if you notice in the end, it’s probably due to personal feelings you had within yourself about a previous experience; Not truly giving someone the change to have them prove otherwise. Usually it’s misperceptions we develop within ourselves that is pretty judgey in the end. Believe you and me. I did this too at one point in time. When I was extremely insecure.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough


I think that the misperception of the “Crazy” people call me is because for the first time, I am consistently gracious for all the little things in life. Yeah, i am not making millions. But I am fulfilling a dream. I may not have property, but I have a roof over my head. I may financially struggle here and there in this venue, but I have the essentials needed to survive. Especially in a worldwide pandemic. I may not be a big public figure. But I beat my own odds and fucked shit up for the greater good. it’s these little things that keep me upbeat and positive. There’s no secret behind it. I say in my book when you stop expecting people to save you and begin saving yourself, you have earned the act of the Universe providing to you. I had a friend who is now Dr. Kristy Taylor who was the most kind and compassionate and very empathetic individual. She was that always had great things happen. At the same time I realize she earned it. There was one time we had lunch during my divorce that had me broke like a joke and she ended up telling me, I got you. In concern I am like, girl aren’t you struggling too. She told me the story that she got that helped her pay her cellphone bill and afforded her the ability to catch up and take me to lunch. Since my car broke a week before, she saved me a two hour bus ride and took me to get groceries as the divorce from an abusive ex husband was the priority to get my life back. I never forget the day or her. She’s the one that got me in touch with my publisher, which is the biggest gratitude I have for this girl more than she will ever know. She believed in me to this very day which got me on the my journey of an unraveled road that is in the process of becoming a self help series, which the gratitude that I never got to show since we are miles away and contained by a pandemic, the thing I want the most is to give her the biggest hug and saying thank you for not giving up on me. In the end, she gave me the power to not give up on myself.

Published by Frieda Lopez at Frieda the Writer

Frieda López is the writer for Journey of an Unraveled Road who was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. Through her professional career in Customer Relations and Retail Management, she has utilized her experience and interactions with the behavioral patterns, which was used to start her personal journey with Journey of A Unraveled Road as her debut novel. She has completed philosophy, psychology, and theology courses at San Antonio College as well as creative writing courses. Frieda López has been a lifelong writer since 2nd grade. A survivor of childhood trauma, childhood abuse, and domestic violence, she wrote this piece, which started this book as her personal journey; works from home in San Antonio, TX.

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