As I celebrate this Thanksgiving, I am reminded of all my blessings; no matter what the year may have tried to throw my way. Years ago I heard someone say, “when you stop and count all of the good things in your life, all the things you were spared from, all the things you didn’t have to check when you went to the doctor’s office, you can’t help but stop and think about God’s grace and mercy in your life and give thanks.” There will be storms that come into our lives (external and internal), but when we get hit with various trials and tribulations, that is truly when we must stop and give thanks; no matter what.
I recently had the privilege to connect with a group of special women. As we all shared and talked about some of the things we were dealing with in our day to day lives, we had to remind ourselves to stay focused and to remember what is important and go back to our core values. It is so easy to get caught up in the trap of comparing our lives with others, especially with social media and how we all want to paint a picture-perfect life. In reality, no one has a picture-perfect life, but we can have a life that is just right for us. Oftentimes if we would put in the time and energy into watering and harvesting our own “backyards,” we could have what we desire.
Whenever I am going through any specific challenge I stop and ask myself is this my crop or my cross? In other words, is this something I created (crop) or is this something I must experience because of situations beyond my control (cross)? I believe when we stop and analyze a situation and then learn the lesson, it will help us not to repeat negative cycles and it will help us have an attitude of gratitude for being able to come through to the other side. If I am honest, when I really assess what I am going through, and it is not what I wanted, I realize I played a role in getting there and it is up to me to get out of it. Ask yourself what you can do to improve your situation in order to get on track to the life you truly desire.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving and prepare for the holiday season, I encourage you to stop and think about all your blessings. Yes, there is turmoil all around us, especially as it relates to some of the things that we face day to day in the political and economic realm (and maybe even in our own personal circles). But if we are alive and healthy, we have another opportunity to turn things around and strive to be our best selves. It is said that one of the best ways to feel better and to take your eyes off your own problems is when we stop and help someone else. What better time than the holidays? There are plenty of organizations, houses of worship or community centers that could use a helping hand right now. There are no excuses of how you can help someone else and, who knows, it might even put a smile on your own face.
As for me and my house, we are going to continue doing our part to help others and be grateful for each other. My family continues to grow (grandbaby number two is on the way) and I am grateful for life, legacy and for what I’ve been able not only to go through, but also to grow through. I will keep my eyes focused and give thanks for what I have and not worry about what I think might be missing. After all, I’ve learned to appreciate the view from where I stand. Don’t let anything or anyone steal your joy! Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on!