When I sit down to make my Thanksgiving list what do I put down? ‘Friends’ and ‘family’ (most of them!) are at the top of my list. Then perhaps ‘health’, ‘freedom’…
Do I ever express thanks for ‘bad health’, ‘gloomy days’, ‘stress’, ‘conflict’? They wouldn’t be near the top of the list, if they were on it at all.
I began to think about this – it is a cold, rainy, dreary day here today. Raw. Winter-like. I wanted to try to think in reverse.
So it’s a gloomy day. It makes all the pretty days so much prettier. I am grateful that it grants contrast. I will appreciate the sunny days more. I know my brother in Seattle enjoys sunny days because there are so many drizzley ones out there!
If I have aches and pains they remind me that I am alive and I am grateful for analgesics. There was a time when you just had to grin and bare it.
If my bank account is low I am thankful that I even have one and have been able to provide for my family. There are many in this world who have nothing.
If I am stressed it means I have a job that requires all of me, challenging me, using my brain. There are some with no job.
If I am overwhelmed it shows me I need to pace myself. I don’t have to do it all right now. There are those who are no longer able to do anything.
If there is conflict it means I am in relationship with someone and have the opportunity to grow from it. Some just walk away.
If I am lonely I can be grateful that I have known wonderful relationships and have beautiful memories. It can prompt me to reach out to someone who may be lonelier than I am.
If I have regrets, I am thankful that I had choices and though I made bad ones, I can begin again. Some choose to remain the victim.
If I have questions and doubts I am thankful that these same questions and doubts can spurr me on to look for truth. Some become inflexible.
I hope that is not “Pollyanna-ish” but it always helps to look at the positive side of a situation, if I can. (It make take some time for me to get there!) I recognize that sometimes I just want to be miserable – feel the pain. After all I earned this misery! And there is nothing worse than someone trying to cheer me up when I just need to feel miserable! Someone once said, “It is small comfort when you are drowning to be told there are others swimming.” But I want to move into positive thoughts rather than stay in the negative. I want to grow and live with a grateful heart.
What are you thankful for this year?