For the last few years I have been making an effort to give gratitude for a few things each day. It is not always easy. Some days I have a list of things and other days I struggle to come up with three. It is certainly not for a lacking of amazing things in my life; family, friendships, my health, my family’s health, a roof over my head, access to food and education, a career I love, passions that I love pursuing, living in the United States, the list goes on and on. While these big topics are important, I love focusing in on the special little (and big) moments of the day – a particular conversation, a special moment with one of my kids, a good laugh with my husband and breakthrough at work.
As this Thanksgiving season approaches, I was reflecting on some of the things that I have given gratitude for over the last year and realized that almost everything that I was giving gratitude for was something that naturally brought me happiness. There was very little presence dedicated to the challenges I have faced in this last year. As I considered this more, I realized this was true for the previous years that I have been focused on giving gratitude. It struck me that during times that it was difficult to come up with multiple things to give thanks for, were likely times that I was facing challenges. Yet when I think back over the years, some of the things I am most thankful for are periods of adversity in my life. While yes these different time periods were hard, they also brought growth, stronger relationships, deeper understanding and grit.
This Thanksgiving, while also giving thanks for everything that is bringing you joy, consider giving thanks for what the challenges in your life are bringing you as well. This is not to minimize the challenges but rather just to be open to how you as a person may grow from it.
Wishing you each a wonderful and joyful Thanksgiving centered on what is most important to you.
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