What am I thankful for? I myself keep a short list in my head of all the things that I thank whatever God there may be for every day of my life. My huge family and friends are always at the top and then of course things like food, clothing, a home, a job, my health, all the modern conveniences that make our lives much easier to live and of course my fur baby. I recognize those simple things everyday and I try to show my appreciation as often as I can but there is so much more.
With Thanksgiving approaching I have been thinking more about all the other things that I take for granted; things that are not tangible but are far more important and vital to our survival. So many people in this world go without, they don’t worry about things like clothes because they fret over where their next glass of clean water will come from. But yet they probably stop and acknowledge their appreciation for the things I almost always overlook. It is disheartening to know there are people suffering in this world but that thought helps me to realize how truly blessed my life is and taking it for granted is truly the most selfish thing I could do.
Love. Life itself provides so much heartbreak that if you find love and someone to love you back don’t ever take it for granted because it may not last forever. It can be hard to distinguish the difference between love and lust sometimes but if the joy you find with that person is greater than the sorrows you face together that is how you will know whether you should fight to hold onto it or not. That’s all, love should not be complicated, don’t deny it, let it flourish and don’t chase after something that isn’t really there with the hope that someday it may present itself; life is too short for us to waste ourselves on something that isn’t real.
Wisdom. In our past we all have things we’ve said or done which may have led to an event we wish we could change or alter the outcome of somehow. Things we will hold onto for the remainder of our lives for the simple reason that we just cannot let them go. To do so might kill us. We’ve carried the burden so long that it has become a part of who we are; and it has shaped us into the person we were always meant to be. It is always painful but we learn from it, we grow, we accept it as a part of ourselves however hard it may be and we promise to never make the same mistake twice.
Hope. It is so fragile. It’s like a flickering light in the distance that we have to squint to see at first and frequently lose sight of but as we move closer to it, it will become brighter and eventually we will be able to feel the warmth from it. We can never let that light go out because without it the darkness will consume us until finally we feel no sense of happiness and without joy life is not worth living. If we give up on hope and surrender to the shadows we eliminate the possibility that things can be better.
Air. I am well aware that we cannot live without oxygen but I am talking about everything that surrounds us; the things in nature that can make us feel alive. Wide open spaces to run as we wish. The exhilarating rush of cold water over your arms as you sink down to the bottom on a hot summer day. The smell of cold air after a fresh snowfall. The warmth of the sun on your skin. The comforting softness of lush green grass on your back as you gaze at the night sky. The sound of the leaves dancing together on a windy day. A tropical sky so blue and so clear it feels like a daydream. Our world harbors so much beauty and the space that lies beyond our reach is so brilliant when you can see it away from the city lights. There are places where the air is less toxic and so much cleaner that when you breathe it you think more clearly. Without any of these things we cease to exist.
Self. We cannot deny the people we are. We have very little say in the matter and we do not get a list of attributes and personality quirks to choose from. We make decisions that can change the course of our lives and maybe alter our perceptions of certain circumstances but no matter how many times we relive the same situations our choices will always be similar because we are who we are. Changing yourself for anyone or anything will only lead you toward greater unhappiness; in the end that life you build will fall apart because it was never who you were meant to be and it was all built upon a lie. To blame the dissolution of a marriage on “we changed” is utter nonsense. You were just suppressing the person you really were. There are things about myself that I absolutely hate, but I cannot contradict those things. I have to accept the fact that I am not perfect and I never will be and by doing so I can take comfort in knowing that my life is really mine. Get to know yourself and cherish every quirk and flaw and when you do that is when your life and the lives of those around you will begin to thrive.
I hope everyone reading this and the lives you touch have a happy and healthy holiday. I am thankful for all of you out in this great big world of ours. I am thankful for every single day we are given. I am thankful that we have the ability and the resources to reach out to one another. I am thankful for love, wisdom, hope, air and a sense of self. I am thankful to thrive.