As I recover from over eating and begin to think about this holiday of Thanksgiving, which was made a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in an attempt to heal a fractured nation, I ask did it work? I’m not sure, but I do like the essence of this holiday regardless.
I believe gratitude is important and giving thanks is one way of expressing gratitude which I try to do for at least a few minutes each day. I think it is very important to stop and take stock of what you have, why you have it, and to remind ourselves that we are blessed.
That no matter how little material things you may have, the fact that you can read this, that you most likely have electricity and access to the internet, that hopefully you had food in your belly and water to drink is in fact something wondrous. Something as simple as being able to breathe can be taken for granted, but it is something we unconsciously do thousands and thousands of times each day.
Even if we are more privileged than this basic level, if we have a job, and an income, a vehicle or the ability to support a family, that is significant. There is someone out there who wishes they could do this or had that, that is just a dream of theirs but a reality for some. Others are even more blessed and have a surplus income and what seems like a dream life.
Whether they are happy or not only they can know. I do not have this blessing. Sometimes I wish I had more money because I feel the stress of paycheck to paycheck survival and no matter if I get a raise or a windfall, something seems to always happen where these reserves are suddenly needed and therefore need to be used up.
Life does have a funny way of working out, and I truly believe if you practice gratitude every day you are less likely to take your life for granted, are more likely to appreciate what you have, and are more likely to be happy with your life because you know how lucky you are, or how things could always be worse.
We are all survivors of our own maze which is customized specifically for our trials and tribulations. One person’s journey will not be like another’s, so even if someone lives in a mansion and seems happily married and seems to have everything going for them, it is important to know you do not know their journey, you can’t know what they are going through or where they came from or where they will be in the future. Someone that is begging on the streets may actually be happier and appreciate the sandwich in their hand at that very moment from a kind stranger, whereas the person in the mansion could be a prisoner of a debilitating depression.
I believe true wisdom comes from learning from our mistakes and withholding judgment. Knowing our own journey, and being the best we can be every day. Doing the right thing even if it isn’t the easy thing, and always thinking of the consequences of our actions and who they might effect and how. But withholding judgment of another’s actions while we refocus on our own.
So what am I grateful for? I am grateful for a family that loves me even when I make a poor choice. They may berate me or roll their eyes, but I know when I am broken down someplace they will answer their phones and help me out in a moment’s notice. Not everyone has that.
I am grateful for a healthy, wonderful ,smart son, even though he can be a challenge but there are some who have not been as lucky. I am blessed that he is healthy. I can only imagine the pain of parents who aren’t as fortunate.
I am grateful that I have a roof over my head with heat and light, a working fridge and food to eat, water to drink, a working car, a decent job, and the ability to write words. And an audience willing to read these words.
I am grateful for my health, for still feeling young at heart, for being able to still love and be loved. I know I am capable of it and able to accept it which is something. I have not been hardened or jaded by the past. Not everyone can say that. I am alive. Every day is a gift. I will try harder not to waste this gift because it is precious and not something which can be replaced.
*Hugs to all. And Happy Thanksgiving!*