It’s the time of year we all start talking and thinking about gratitude.
Thanksgiving is coming and we are “supposed” to be thankful. But what do you do if you aren’t feeling that way? Pretend? Ignore the feelings? Stuff it like the turkey? What if you aren’t feeling grateful on Thanksgiving? Travel is annoying, too many places to be in one day, the weather is a nightmare. Do you look at Thanksgiving as a precursor to the craziness of the HOLIDAY season? Some days when you wake up, do you just feel like you don’t want to do what you are “supposed to”?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving! And while I’m not a huge fan of cooking (you have to do it every day!), I love the turkey, the side dishes, the stuffing, even the football. Most importantly, I love the people at my table and the pie.
All this pre-Black Friday nonsense is making me even crazier! Seriously, who needs something so much they are willing to go shopping on the day we celebrate spending time with those we love. Of course, you can shop with those you love, but come on, who needs a 75″ television so badly that you are willing to expect others to give up their family time to be there to give you a good deal? No one!
So, I got to thinking and looked up gratitude in the dictionary.
Gratitude: Noun…The quality of being thankful and readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
The last part struck me as something we don’t often remember: to return kindness.
And that’s how it works. You return the kindness. Once you do that, the true feelings of gratitude start to roll in. Not what you think you are “supposed” to feel, but the deep feelings of thankfulness and joy that come from a place of realization that you aren’t alone in this world. We are all here together doing the best we can. Helping each other in big and small ways is the way to peace. How do you do that? Maybe it’s to look the grocery clerk in the eye and say thank you for being here; or paying for the next person at the bridge toll; or leaving a $5 on someone’s car that you don’t know (that is really fun!); or volunteering at your favorite charity event; or baking a delicious pie for dinner (I do have the best apple pie recipe, so email me if you want my secret). Maybe it’s taking a few minutes everyday to meditate so you aren’t feeling rushed and overwhelmed.
The dictionary says gratitude is a noun. That makes it a thing. So start small, do something for someone else and yourself. You will be amazed at how when you do, little things become big things. Big things become a grateful life and then Thanksgiving isn’t the day before Black Friday, it’s a celebration of your life!