Words cannot begin to express how excited I am to touch on a subject that has transformed my life! And oh, how it pains me that the world has so much opportunity in really and truly being thankful.
Think about it. We have been conditioned since birth essentially to say thank you, that I often fear that we’re expressing these precious words by default, and failing to understand why we even are thankful. I mean, our celebration of Thanksgiving is a perfect example. We embrace this holiday with a sense of communion and reflection, and then when the clock strikes 12:00AM, we’re diving right back into old habits and diving into the retail mosh-pit of materialism.
For most of my life, I did not practice sincere thankfulness and I would say that although I had many amazing opportunities and was quite blessed, I took it for granted. I complained about my circumstances, only approached things from a mindset of lack, and never evaluated situations understanding that even in our darkest moments, there is still a glimmer of light–and in that speckle, something worth celebrating.
The past 2-3 years have posed numerous challenges. I moved cross country, extremely far from my family newly married, and just a year later, left a very toxic relationship and was headed to a divorce. I thrived on the negativity and playing the woe is me card without even knowing it. I wanted everyone to sympathize with my story, my struggles, my pain. Naturally, I wanted other to relish in my unhappiness with me because I thought complaining about it was healthy. But, what I didn’t realize that by continually attaching myself emotionally to the situation was draining me, and keeping me from positive movement forward. I was attracting the ugliness of the divorce process.
Towards the end of my divorce, when I started practicing thankfulness, what I actually started to do was write letters to my ex, without him ever even seeing them, where I simply thanked him for every amazing moment we shared. Sure, the divorce was financially draining, but what I did have was the cadillac of health-care that I could have only received because of his job. So I celebrated my health, and not having to worry about health-care costs and thanked him every single day for that. There was actually a moment where I did send him one of my letters, and even though I never heard back from him, I feel pleased with the outcome of our situation because at least I was able to express all that I was thankful for despite our differences.
This summer, I was unable to work but each and every day, I expressed thanks and gratitude for having this much needed time to restore and heal myself. Instead of focusing on what I didn’t have, like a stable job or an abundant of money coming in, I celebrated my health, my self-renewal, and even my time. And I would like to also add that although my income was limited, I lived the most abundantly than I ever have–the universe always provided for me, and all of my needs were met because I did not focus on what I did not have, but everything that I did.
I have to be honest, this post is a little more challenging for me because it’s impossible for me to tell you how exactly to be thankful, or know what that means for you. All that I can beg of you is to change your mindset, your attitude and perspective. I made the decision to leave social media about 4 years ago because I didn’t particularly love logging on to see 100 status updates about people hating their jobs, and how miserable their lives are, or how cold it is, or how they don’t have this, and every other dark hole of negativity that could exist. To these posts, I could think of a MILLION things to still be thankful for!
So, you hate your job? Well, you’re way ahead of the impoverished population, homeless or people on disability who can’t perform work. BE THANKFUL that you’re even capable of performing the duties to work AND earn an income!
You woke up this morning and you’re miserably tired? You know what, there will be a morning where we don’t wake up to another day. Someone is mourning of the loss of someone they lost, BE THANKFUL that you have lived to see another day!
You’re frustrated because you don’t have enough money? But you DO have money, and if you have a job, you’re earning an income, so I’m sorry, what’s the problem?
The next time you want to take that second to rant about what’s not going your way, take a moment of silence to celebrate something that is. Be thankful for the shelter you have. The energy you have to get up and get your day started. Your phone to communicate. Food to revive you. Friends to comfort you. Family to support you. The universe for providing for you. Adversity for shaping you. Pain for making you stronger. Challenges that strengthen you. Lows that make you appreciate your highs. Your health. All the things you love! Just by writing these things out, I feel it in every fiber of my being and could run around my complex screaming THANK YOU.
I keep a gratitude journal and each and every day, and I write down as many things that I can think of to be thankful for. I challenge you to do the same for 21 days (how long it takes to form a habit) and see how much your life changes when you approach it from a place of thanks, instead of lack of appreciation and ungratefulness. You’ll soon be lifted by even the little things–take it all and celebrate those moments!
As always, be + LIFTED but I challenge you to also be + THANKFUL!
Love and blessings and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!