It’s that time of year again. Yay! That wonderful time of year when we stuff ourselves with turkey and other assorted goodies. We get together with family and friends and give thanks for all of the blessings of the past year. It is a time of reflection and grace when we are keenly aware of the goodness in our lives and how lucky we are to be in this time and this place.
This year, I would invite you to put a new twist on your Thanksgiving festivities. Definitely eat well, but instead of rattling off the same old laundry list of gratitude, give thanks for everything that you don’t have. Give thanks for the things that have not gone as planned, the relationships that have soured, mistakes, and the road not taken. All of these things have brought you to where you are right now: a place of gratitude and thanks.
Some of us spend loads of time thinking about our past mistakes, the choices that we made and the chances that we didn’t take. Regret is a waste of time; it robs us of seeing the beauty of life today and all the abundance that we enjoy. Would we have made different decisions if we were given the opportunity to make them today? Maybe, maybe not. At least once, we have imagined that life would be happier, more fulfilling if we had made a different decision. But, history does not reveal the alternative. We really don’t know if life would have been better if we had chosen differently.
We only know that life is what it is today. When we are thankful for what is and not for what could have been, only then are we truly grateful. Everything may not be as you intended or expected, but it allowing yourself to have heartfelt gratitude for all that is brings peace and contentment. Being thankful for the little things in your life that you would miss if they weren’t there.
Think of all that you would miss if it were to suddenly vanish, that rich cup of coffee in the morning, the way your husband clears his throat, the way your daughter dismisses you, the winter morning sunrise. Image that they all went away tomorrow. You may not miss them at first, but you would quickly feel that loneliness and ache in your heart for these small, maybe even annoying things.
Continue to be thankful for health, friends, and family, which make our lives fulfilling. However, this year, add the twist: be thankful for all the little things that go unnoticed in everyday life. In addition, be thankful for all that is not. Allow the blessings to shine in those dark places in your heart. This year be thankful for the good and the bad, because, in truth, all of life is a blessing.