11/21/2007

How to be thankful in everything


The Thanksgiving holiday invites us to increase our awareness of the many blessings we have received throughout the year. We take inventory of the things we have, such as our homes, cars, health, family, and express gratitude for how well the year has progressed to date. We enjoy the opportunity give thanks for everything good in our lives. An attitude of gratefulness encourages you to be conscious of all the good things in your life that you should grateful for. The concept is similar to that of a person who purchases a new red Nissan. The moment they drive off the lot, they begin to realize that every other vehicle on the road is also a red Nissan. Not because everyone went out and purchase their cars when you did, but because you have developed an awareness of that vehicle.

As children, we were conditioned to give thanks in direct correlation to what we received. You may remember your mother giving you something and asking you "what do you say?" in response to receiving. This type of receive-give thanks pattern is customary. In fact, our parents would think that something was wrong if we ever showed them generous gratitude without being prompted by a specific event occurring just before the words of thanks. They would usually display their disbelief by asking you what you wanted in response to the gratitude you were expressing. This further engraved in our minds the theory that we must only show gratitude once we have received the object we are thankful for.

Living a victorious life requires us to be thankful for all things at all times. This requirement becomes difficult if we can not pinpoint a specific reason to be grateful. An attitude of gratitude is even more laborious if we are experiencing difficult and painful emotions as result of what is happening in our lives. There is a verse in the Bible that says "In all things give thanks." Notice the writer did not say "for all things give thanks." We are not necessarily required to be thankful for what we are going through. We need to be thankful in everything we are experiencing. When you went up to your mom for no reason and simply said "thank you mom," you had no specific reason in mind. It was a "just because" thank you. We ought to develop a just because type of gratitude in all circumstances. When we do, our awareness heightens and, much like the example of the new car, we begin to find more reasons to be thankful for that did not seem to be there before.

We feel good when we give thanks. This act brings into perspective how blessed we truly are. You can not remain in your mental lull after vocalizing a long list of every person, thing, experience, you appreciate in your life. Even the not-so-good past experiences in your life have helped to develop you as the person you are today with regards to emotional growth and the wisdom you received. Be thankful!
Remember to be thankful "in" everything. Thankful for what the experience means and not for what it gives. You will see how quickly your mind shifts when you begin to appreciate everything just as it is.

Thank you......and have a great day!

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