Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Time to give thanks

I find that on Thanksgiving itself, there's a lot of running around and busyness, and I often don't manage to take time to feel give thanks for all that is good in my life. So I've decided to think about gratitude the day before Thanksgiving. Since I recently did a birthday gratitude spiel, I won't list everything again.

I do have some thoughts on gratitude, however. I'm sensitive to those who don't feel that they have much to be grateful for on the holiday. I've had some years when I felt the same way. Sometimes I would recognize the good in my life, but the bad would seem to outweigh it enough that I couldn't manage any feeling of gratitude.

At one point in my life, a friend and I took a course through the Unity Church (yes, I have been involved with every known religion, why do you ask?) which studied Louise Hay's book "You Can Heal Your Life." As you might guess from the title, this is a very new agey book and, in retrospect, it had serious flaws. At the time, though, I learned a lot from it. One thing I learned was the power of positive affirmations, and I used these to good effect in healing a lot of my negative thinking. But one thing that always stuck with me was what Hay said about gratitude: if you can't muster anything, then go all the way down to the basics -- if you have indoor plumbing, be grateful for that. It sounds silly, but think about it seriously. I'm extremely grateful for indoor plumbing -- and so can you (yes, I'm reading Stephen Colbert's book, another thing for which I'm grateful).

Take it down to basics, and most people have a lot to be grateful for. I'm glad I'm alive, which is the most basic thing of all.

And for those who are struggling during this holiday season, I do understand. I struggle with the holidays myself. My thoughts are with you. Sometimes all we can manage is to grit our teeth and endure, and if you can manage that, give yourself a pat on the back -- you're doing a good job.


Anonymous said...

What a thoughtful, moving post. I am grateful for having C as a friend!

Catherine said...

And I am grateful to have you for a friend, Anonymous, if that *is* your real name.