I like what Henry Van Dyke said about the attitude of gratitude. He says, Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.
We are very fortunate in the United States to have a day that reminds us how important it is to be thankful for what we have in life. There is absolutely nothing that we have that isn’t a gift from the Divine, even the difficulties in life.
When we are going through loss, betrayal, hurt or disappointment we often feel helpless and alone. When we are in the thick of it we forget that the difficulties in life are simply lessons that teach us how to live life more fully.
The difficulties in life help us to step out of our comfort zone so that we can see things from a different perspective. I find that there is more opportunity to change our emotional and physical bad habits, and turn our attention to the Divine when we are no longer in our comfort zone.
Did you know that the Chinese symbol for crisis and opportunity is the same? How often do we grumble and resist life rather than using the difficulties in life as an opportunity to transform our lives? Accepting situations as they are, rather than how we would like them to be frees us up to seeing the beauty in life.
Wasn’t it Abraham Lincoln who once said, some people complain because God put thorns on roses, while others praise Him for putting roses among thorns? It reminds me of the squirrels in our front yard. They have so much fun running up the rose bushes to eat the roses they are completely oblivious of the thorns. Animals live in the moment they don’t seem to fret much over what they don’t have.
One of my favorite jokes is, what is the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? ----An optimist wakes up in the morning and says, “Good morning God”, whereas a pessimist wakes up in the morning and says, “Good God, morning?” It seems to me that the one who praises the Divine is much happier than the one that curses life for what is missing.
William Law says, If anyone could tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness and perfection, he must tell you to make a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing...
I encourage all of us to really make this Thanksgiving Day a day to celebrate all the diversities of life and truly be grateful in our hearts and our souls for what life has to offer. Seeing the light and love in life and being thankful is the key to a peaceful and joyful life.
Love and Peace,
Originally published 11-12-16
photo © Gianna Stadelmyer | Dreamstime.com
Mary Mohs LVN, MA, RYT,