It’s Thanksgiving for all of us Americans. For many grateful Americans, today is no different than any other day; it’s a day of thankfulness, gratitude and joy. Just like any other day these people have gratitude for all the blessings life has given them. Sometimes I just hate these people! These people confuse me at times, and at times make me feel very inadequate, and ungrateful.
Wow, I can’t believe I said it for all the world to see, but honestly, how can one be grateful when there are so many things in one’s life that can be heart wrenching and painful? How is eating a turkey helping these people get through whatever problems they are facing?
I have been working on this gratitude thing for a long time. Last year when I got my house back, my job improved, I got a new car, my blessings were abundant and I was so thankful. When I shoveled a foot of snow in my driveway, I reminded myself that I was blessed to have a driveway to shovel. When my plumbing went nuts, I was grateful to have a man in my life who not only was willing to fix it for me, but put it right again. That was so awesome.!
I started a gratitude journal. Daily I list the good things that happened in my life that day. It might be that I had enough money to put gas in my tank, or that the weather was beautiful and felt so fresh and clean. It’s the days that aren’t so good when I find it difficult to write about my blessings. That is what I am working on. It is much harder to be grateful when the day has been the worst of many days.
Last night as I stirred in my bed, I started thinking about Thanksgiving and gratitude. Gratitude does carry us and gives us joy in ourselves and others. I thought about the mother whose son is at war. She misses him, fears for him, but she knows he’s still safe and alive. That’s her gratitude. The positive attitude helps her get through each day of worry, and helps her go on, and in turn it helps her son know that his mom is doing okay. I thought about the millions of people who today would be happy to have turkey and all its trimmings, but instead are eating a five dollar pizza. The grateful ones would be grateful to have that five dollars and think and reflect on better times to come. What about the parent who is separated from their children? How do they cope, and still be grateful? As a mom in this situation, I do miss them, especially on holidays, but it brings me joy and gratitude in the knowing that they are with loved ones and children of their own sitting around a table eating turkey.
We all have problems. Life is never perfect, but a new perspective can show both sides. It’s not only the bad we have, but the good that can come of it. Be joyful for all you love and have, and even for what you may have lost. The Universe doesn’t punish, but opens doors of gratitude and joy in its ever-changing plan. As joy grows, we can rejoice in life. Happy Thanksgiving!