With a Thankful Heart
It’s more than just a special day of the year that started with the pilgrims and Indians over tables of abundant food. It’s a day for giving thanks that life spared you for another year. On November first, as is typical when we are reminded of this holiday, social media sites were full of “Today I am thankful for” statuses. They will continue through till turkey day and even may continue for a couple of days after Thanksgiving has been devoured and the turkey deboned. Then, it quickly goes from “I’m thankful” to “I want.” Gratitude is replaced by greed and the focus of the world shifts.
I’m just as guilty. I started my “Be Thankful” posts on the first day of the month and have faithfully made one every day hence, sometimes with a comedic twist so as not to get too mushy. I mean well, and I am thankful. Truly, I am. It’s just that sometimes life becomes so busy that I forget to stop and show it. My mind is onto the next project and adventure, and I neglect to savor the past, thanking those that made it possible. I’m embarrassed by that admission, because I really do have quite a bit for which to be thankful. I have a great family, fantastic friends and the ability to do what I love to do. Not everyone can say that. I am blessed beyond measure.
I’d wager you are, as well. While life may be tough at times, I am sure there are things you can be thankful for, such as sight. You’re reading this, so you have vision even if it’s through glasses or contacts, other things you can be thankful for, and you have the intelligence to read and comprehend. Not everyone can. You also have the internet, which connects you to family and friends, new and old as well as a wealth of information and adventures. And if you keep returning to The Mess, then obviously, you’ve been blessed with good taste, and for that I am thankful.
The truth is, we all have something to be grateful for and we need to express it more than one day a year. It may be hard. Christmas is six weeks away and ads are everywhere tempting our “I Want” buttons, making it easy to push gratitude to the side and don the cloak of greed. Our wish lists get longer and longer and the items more expensive. We deserve it, after all. Don’t we? We’ll change our focus in January when we’re trying to come up with resolutions we won’t break in two days. For now, however, it’s “let me tell you what I want.”
I don’t want to live that way. Oh, I want things, and my wish list is long, trust me. Yet, I don’t want that to be my focus. I don’t want to live a life of accumulation. I don’t want to have the mindset of what can I get, but rather of what can I give. My life should not flow inward, but outward as I turn Thanksgiving Day into a thankful spirit that permeates my life every minute of every day.
The more we live our life with a grateful heart, the more our whole attitude towards things will change. Thankful people are happy people and happy people are a joy to be around.
I’m making my New Year’s resolution early this year. I want to live a life of the grateful, instead of the self-centered. I want to say “Thank you,” not only to the people around me, but to the creation that surrounds me and the universe that guides me. With every breath we are blessed to take there should come an exhalation of gratitude for we are not guaranteed another inhale. So start today, and view the world with eyes that are guided by a heart of thanks and I promise you’ll live happier and longer.
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