Welcome back! Last week, we talked about Shadow Work. If you missed that blog and would like to catch up, click HERE.
On Thursday, many Americans will sit around a table with family and friends, unbutton the top button of their pants, and dig in. It will be a time to consider all that we have, and all that we are grateful for.
Being thankful at this time of year can often be a stretch for many. So many people suffering, struggling, and needing help…it’s heartbreaking.
I would like to suggest if you have a table to sit down to this year for Thanksgiving, take a moment and be grateful for that which you would normally see as a negative in your life. It will change you forever.
Thankfulness is a state of mind. What we have is often eclipsed by what we want and don’t have, and that’s truly a shame, isn’t it? Further, the worst days of our lives are often seen as unworthy of mention, much less being grateful that they happened, right?
When my kids were little, we would review their day every night at dinner. I would ask for one “rose” and one “thorn” from their day. I did this because so often we talk about (even brag about) our “roses”, like getting an A on a test, or being asked to lead the class out to recess, but we don’t bring up the uncomfortable moments…the hurtful moments…the “thorns”. I wanted my children to have a balanced view of life, and to understand that hurts are normal and that we can even find ways to be grateful for the hurts.
Changing our mindset is as easy as choosing to look at our conditions as learning experiences, as opposed to something that happened to us.
The darkest days of our lives can be simply dark, or they can be the catalyst to something bright and shiny.
I had a dear friend, Jeff Warren, who received a cancer diagnosis. He had multiple health issues, and this wasn’t going to help matters. Whenever I would ask Jeff how he was doing, he’d smile and say, “I’m thankful, grateful, and blessed”. Having spent many years knowing Jeff, I knew he wasn’t just avoiding the bad stuff. He meant what he said. He used his remaining years to minister to people. He treated cab drivers like lifelong friends, chatting with them and telling them how lucky he was to be sick. In being terminally ill, he could demonstrate to others how to live.
The loss of a job, a title, and losing out on a promotion at work, all can be a step in the direction of greatness. Accepting losses with grace and dignity, then venturing out into the world to find the next wonderful thing to replace that which was “lost”, is an honor. You weren’t fired. You were removed to greatness.
Being flexible thinkers, it’s then ok to say things like, “I’ve changed my mind” or “I was wrong and I need to rethink my position”. Recognizing that nothing is “bad”, but an opportunity to better ourselves, our circumstances, or our community, is the best gift of insight one could ever receive. Our lives are in our own control. They can be amazing, or they can be horrifying. And I know what you’re thinking…
“It’s not that easy, Linda, bad things happen to good people”. Yep. They do. So then what? Do we just sit at the table of Thanksgiving, hang our heads, and say, “life sucks”? No. We gather ourselves up, we mourn what was lost, and then we decide to make our circumstances better, whether through therapy, volunteering, changing our food intake, our circle of friends, or our paid position. We find support groups, church homes, sewing circles, or community clubs to join.
We put one foot in front of the other and we never, ever, ever, give up.
Not enough time in the day? Sure there is. Prioritize. Take out that which isn’t filling your soul and replace it with what actually matters. I know a lot of people that drink, use drugs, and spend hours pining after relationships that aren’t good for them. It’s all wasted energy. None of this will fill you up at the end of the day, and it’s taking more from you than you will ever realize.
Minimize your time on social media. There’s a good one or two hours back on your calendar, right? Use that time to better your life. Commit to a 30-minute walk every single day, no matter what. Commit to 30 minutes to play with, or care for, your pets. Commit 30 minutes to sit and really listen to your child. You could do all of this and still have an extra 30 minutes to fill with goodness!
I would like to challenge you on this Thanksgiving Day, to look for that which you wouldn’t normally consider a “blessing”. Then find the good in it. Express to your family what you are doing and why. I promise you, they will understand it in an intimate way. We’ve all been there. It’s ok to talk about it, whatever “it” is, and it’s ok to learn from it, find the good in it, and move on.
The Foundation wishes you and yours a very special holiday, one where you are “thankful, grateful, and blessed”.
As always, this blog is not a replacement for sound medical advice. I am not a doctor. Please make an appointment to see your healthcare provider and put a good plan in place that works for you and the needs of your body.
That’s all I have for you this week, dear reader. I’ll see you back here next Wednesday to share another cup of coffee. Until then, be good to yourself and each other.
Mind, Body, Spirit…Osteopathic Doctors treat the whole person, not just the ailment. Is your PCP a DO? Would you like to learn more about Osteopathic Physicians? Click HERE!