Sometimes, the craziest things show us exactly what we need to see. Life in all of it’s glory, is at best, nuts. This year, 2020, has been especially nuts. We’ve been through so much this year. Who would have thought we would go through all we’ve gone through in just 11 short months.
It’s in the moments of chaos that often times we get clarity. Sure, we’ve sacrificed a lot this year. Things have shut down. Places are counting how many of us are together at any one moment. We are masking up, or choosing not to. We have seen riots and hate. We’ve experienced loneliness and isolation. We’ve kept in touch via our computers and our phones in lieu of seeing each other in person. Some of us started working from home while others of us were considered essential.
To say our lives have been turned upside down would probably be the understatement of the year. As we’ve navigated our way through the madness, we’ve had highs and we’ve had lows, but the one thing that has remained steadfast, is that regardless of what is happening around us, we have the ability to choose. We get to choose how we react, how we respond, how we treat others, how we treat ourselves.
Today is Thanksgiving and regardless of what we have had to give up, we still have things to be grateful for. What you have to be thankful for may not look like what your neighbor has to be thankful for, but be thankful anyway. It’s in the tough times when gratitude is probably most important.
It is really easy to fall prey to feeling sad or sorry for things or people we’ve lost. It’s really easy to focus on all that is wrong in our lives and forget to see the good still happening. Those money problems can take center stage and that’s all we see. That failed relationship can lead us to believe things will never get better. The loss of a family member can cause us to lose our faith. It’s easy to see only our problems, our losses, our struggles, our pain because they seem so all encompassing.
I’m not an expert. I don’t have a degree in psychology. What I do have is a belief. I have experience. I have a story, lots of them. I’ve lost, I’ve struggled, I’ve failed. In those moments, I’ve had times of only seeing the problems, the losses, the pain. In those moments, I’ve also had joy, and excitement, and peace. Feelings have run the gamut, from despair to elation and still I can look back after I’ve come through whatever I was going through and I can point out blessings in each moment.
It’s not easy. More often than not, it’s extremely difficult and excruciating to stop, close my eyes, and say to myself, “what is good, right now, in THIS moment even among the chaos or the pain?”
We all have something we can be grateful for, regardless of what we are experiencing in any given moment. Something as simple as, “I am thankful for clean underwear” or “I am thankful for this light switch”, can help us turn a corner and move us to a different place and outlook about what we are experiencing.
Everytime you’re feeling lost, lonely, fed up, stressed out, overworked, underpaid, sad, angry, or whatever, you have the power to change your thoughts. I know I sound like the ‘silver lining’ girl, but it’s true. Finding just one thing to be thankful for can change your entire perspective. It can bring hope to what seems like a hopeless situation. It can move focus from the bad to the not so bad and eventually to the good.
I’ve lost a lot over the last year, my marriage, my mama, friends, a home, and the list goes on, but each day I literally force myself to see all that I still have and focus less on what I don’t have. Sometimes I’m thankful for silly things, like a nice big opening on the highway as I speed down the entrance ramp (I totally hate getting on the highway and trying to squeeze in between slow mo Joe and Trucker Tom), and sometimes I’m thankful for not so silly things, like the laughter of my sons. The point is, it doesn’t matter what you’re thankful for, it’s that you are thankful.
As we celebrate THANKSgiving, I pray that you find peace, joy, and laughter as you seek out the things to be thankful for. I believe in you! You’re going to be OK and even better than that!
Till next time,