Gratitude: What You Focus on, Grows
This is that time of year in the U.S. where we have a holiday specifically geared toward being thankful.
Regrettably, many times we become too focused on family dramas, cooking, cleaning, and other concerns and often leave the part out where we remember what the holiday is all about.
I remember the Thanksgiving where I suggested we all go around the table and say one thing we were thankful for and being "poo pooed" for even thinking such a thing.
In these modern times, mixed family dynamics often don't have the closeness or the opportunity to even take a moment and really see one another.
We are concerned with which parent has the kids, when and where is the transfer point, who is working and who isn't, who is bringing what, is this person contributing or helping out enough, what in the world was that person thinking when they chose that outfit, etc etc. (to my family members who are probably not reading this anyway so I am most likely safe: I was not thinking of you specifically when I chose these examples.)
Here is a thought. You know that family member you struggle to connect with, or perhaps, just tolerate during the holidays or maybe all of the time? Stop for a moment. Think of one quality that person has that is amazing! Everyone has one! Look at that person in your mind's eye and send them love and appreciation for being alive, for contributing to the family, even if the contribution is limited. If you can't think of one thing, then think of them as a soul. They are a spark of Divine energy. Their Divinity may be hidden to themselves or others, but they have it.
Last week tragedy struck our family. The father to one of my grandchildren was taken from us in a freak car accident. He left behind two children and two step children. He was a good father to my granddaughter and considered my grandson his own even though he and my daughter had long since decided they were better friends than a couple. The night before he passed, my daughter and the kids enjoyed the last meal together that they would ever enjoy in his company.
It is really important that we appreciate the good in one another. Yes, we all have flaws. We all fall short in many ways. Family dynamics these days are varied and we often find ourselves in the company of those who we may not completely resonate with or agree with all the choices they have made. But stop just for a moment. We have all made choices that turned out not so good. But we also all have wonderful and admirable qualities.
Every moment we have is a gift. We are not guaranteed tomorrow.
Instead of fussing at the grocery store clerk, the driver in front of you, the nail tech, or the child who can't emerge from the phone or tablet, look at them with eyes of love and appreciate who they are as a person. Send love to their highest self and say a blessing to them.
Gratitude for the things we enjoy and the people in our lives is one of the fastest ways to bring more good into our life.
My family has gotten used to my version on the Thanksgiving prayer, but I have a habit of thanking the turkey for giving its life so that we can enjoy a meal together. I thank the plants that grew the vegetables and all who had a part in providing the food or other aspects of our time together.
Even outside of the holiday of thanksgiving, think about your day to day life. How many moving parts had to come together to provide the life you enjoy? I could go on all day about the factory workers who sew our clothes, build our furniture, and even produce the glue that holds everything together. The worms that burrow into the soil that grows our vegetables. The sun that shines and lights our days. The stars that light the dark skies and provide a road map when we are lost.
When you are tempted to complain or find fault, take a moment. Stop. Look for the good in whatever situation has befallen you. Thank all the moving parts for their contribution in making your life amazing. Thank your ancestors who toiled, and cried, and scraped together pennies to create a life so that you could even be here.
Thank you, my readers and friends who benefit from the words that fall out from my heart onto the page.
Thank all those who believed in me and the ones who didn't, because your cheers and your judgements were the motivation to be my real self, because or despite of you.
Thanks to my Angels and helping spirits who inspire me, motivate me, and save me from all manner of dangers, known and unknown, every day, until it is my turn to cross the great divide.
Take notice of the blessings in your life. Today and every day. And watch your life get better.
Or maybe you just notice the bad stuff less.
When we find contentment in our present moment, we are not so stressed about meeting up with our future self who has her life all together and has manifested all of her dreams. Bring her into the present moment! Thank yourself for what you have already created and congratulate yourself for both your successes and your perceived failures!
Just for today, look for the blessing in every moment in time.
Thank the green lights, the perfect parking spaces, the timer that tells you when your turkey is done, the guests who show up to share a meal with you, and the ones who don't.
Blessings to you and wherever you find yourself in your journey through life.