2016 has been a rough year for America. With the election of Donald Trump, many of us are asking, what do we have to be thankful for? Oprah Winfrey reminds us that Thanksgiving is all about being thankful and appreciating every little bit of good in our lives. “The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now. And the more grateful you are, the more you get.”
The holiday of Thanksgiving provides us an opportunity to reflect upon all the things for which we are thankful. For most people, the upcoming season is a time for creating fond memories with family, friends and food. But for many of us, especially those who are out of work, battling health problems, or suffering a loss of some sort, it is a time when giving thanks for anything may seem nearly impossible to do.
If we really try, we can always find something, anything, for which to be thankful. If you hate your job, at least you have one. If you are sick and in pain, you may have a family who loves you and wants to minister to your needs.
If you are alone and lonely, you probably have a roof over your head that is keeping you safe and secure. And if you are homeless, there is at least assistance out there via people and organizations that care and want to help. This bright-siding is not meant to minimize the pain and torment of life's most difficult circumstances. It is merely intended to illustrate that no matter how bad things are, we can always find something positive if we will try. It involves a change of perspective, a willingness to begin the healing process, and a desire to feel happy again.
We have all heard the cliché that if you look around, you can always find someone else whose problems are worse than yours. And this platitude may be no consolation when you are hurting deeply. But there is a reason that clichés persist; there is a grain of truth in them. The simple act of looking outside of yourself takes the focus away from you momentarily. And that is the essence of finding peace in the midst of chaos—moving the emphasis away from you and towards others.
From our house to yours – With a Grateful Heart – Happy Thanksgiving.