Thanksgiving is really a time for gratitude across a multitude of levels. Although we tend to make it about food, that’s NOT the meaning of Thanksgiving (unless part of your gratitude is that God gives you food every day and you’re grateful for that, not just a gratuitous feast of delicacies). Let this year be a cherished time for us to slow it down, reflect on people and experiences through the year, along with opportunities to pass along the blessings to others. This is gratitude in action.
A great tradition that many families practice over their Thanksgiving meal is going around the table and sharing things they’re grateful for. What are you grateful for? It’s such a powerful question.What’s changed for you in a positive way this year? Who has come into your life, or stayed in your life, enriching your experiences and making you a better person? What are some of the luxuries you appreciate by living in the United States (here’s where the list can get VERY long…running water, clean dry home, people who love you, education, clean clothes….you can keep going).
When we’re grateful, we can actually combat anger and resentment. It turns out, you can’t practice both emotions simultaneously. Instead of focusing on what you get, and how much you have materially, consider the victories and even challenges that have come your way. The victories feel great since they’re typically attached to hard work and discipline, bu the challenges are always an opportunity for us to grow and stretch in ways we may have never been forced to before. Because of this, we become more well rounded, more talented, more capable, and always stronger. Be grateful for those opportunities for growth.
Stay aware, keep your eyes open to the beauty of the people and experiences around you and DECIDE what you’ll be happy about and grateful for this year.
If you’re choosing to view your life through gratitude for all the things, good and bad that come your way (since bad experiences always result in a silver lining when you choose to look), you’ll start to become fulfilled on a deeper level. Your happiness won’t be tied to circumstances and events that happen, because you’re deciding to find joy despite the negative things that come your way. Because THOSE? They’ll never stop coming. And you’re not a victim of what happens to you, you’re a warrior that decides their journey and plants joy to harvest along the way.
Sometimes, it’s when we lose one of our blessings; a job, a loved one, a home, a pet, an opportunity, that we put aside our frustrations and gain honest appreciation for all the gifts that grace our lives.
So join us in choosing gratitude this year for Thanksgiving. Really be with the people you’re around, enjoy the time with them. Make it about your lives together, your memories with them and the life you’ve built together. Thank them for being in your lives and share with them the things about them that you appreciate so much. Avoid the temptation to make Thanksgiving about food this year. We can do better than cheapening a holiday about gratitude down to your favorite side dish. Be kind to others, pray for each other, and pass your hugs around like they’re free. ‘Cuz they are 😉
Stay Grateful, and stay AWESOME.