What a wonderful time of the Year. A time when people are aware that Thanksgiving is soon approaching. Its seems that people are more open to reflection during this season than any other time during the year.
Traditionally we celebrate the harvesting of crops and Thanking God for all the blessings we received during the year. A tradition first celebrated in the Pilgrim Colony at Plymouth Plantation in Plymouth Massachusetts.
Let’s look deeper in the ability to being thankful. As children one of the first things our parents taught us was to say thank you when someone gave you something.
Hopefully we learned the importance of appreciation. I believe this practice was to develop an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is the recognition of the unearned increments of value in one’s experience, the acknowledgment of the positive things that come our way that we did not actively work toward or ask for. The appreciation of acts of kindness and blessings that we received not because we earned it but from the goodness of another person’s heart.
This is the answer to an entitlement attitude that has afflicted many people and has hindered them from being able to live with an attitude of gratitude, being thankful for what they have and not focus on what they have not.
One might think, well it’s easy to be thankful for the good things in life and when life is going well, but what about those times when nothings seems to be going well and circumstances are dark and depressing?
I remember a time in my life that I was very depressed, and life seemed very difficult. I will spare you all the details, but I realized that I could not continue in this state of mind and experience any sense of happiness. I felt desperate to survive this period of my life. I began doing something that led me out of depression and helped me develop hope once again.
I began thanking God for everything. I started out with being thankful that I could breath, that I could see, that I could talk, that I could walk, and I went on and on thanking Him for everything that I had that I didn’t earn. I would get up in the morning and begin this exercise repeatedly. Thanking Him for the sky and the clouds and the sun and the moon etc., you get the idea. And believe it or not my depression began to leave, and I felt hopeful once again. My situation had not changed but I had learned to live with an attitude of gratitude for every good thing in my life.
This is not denial, or pretending the circumstances didn’t exist. This was cultivating of the virtue of gratefulness, which is the inner gesture of giving meaning to my life by receiving life as a gift.
I marvel at the Wisdom of God when I read 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Be thankful in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. This verse is not saying thank God for the circumstance, rather be thankful in the circumstances. I once heard” Happiness is an inside job”.
Thankfulness and an attitude of gratitude are the keys to happiness.
Remember thanksgiving is not a holiday once a year, it is a life style we live everyday of our life. I want to leave you with a quote by Angeles Arrien.
“The expression of gratitude is essential to humankind’s sustainability and survival. Gratitude’s a stabilizing and healing effects, which have been research from multiple standpoints – cultural, psychological, physical, spiritual, even financial – have made it abundantly clear that the benefits of living a grateful life are irrefutable”.
Paulette Horvath Team Builder Destiny Arising