I really don’t have much I wish to be thankful for. I am not thankful that a huge number of my brothers and sisters continue to suffer from the recession. I am not thankful that my neighbors’ homes are under water, sometime literally! I am not thankful that I can’t make any money on my savings to support me due to banking policies. I am not thankful that the abundance of North American oil is being sold around the world to line the pockets of big companies instead of helping my heating and gasoline bills. I am not thankful that politicians of both parties are out of touch with the way I live. I am not thankful that many children and elderly are living in poverty. I am not thankful that teachers cannot do their jobs due to local politics and unrealistic administrators. I am not thankful for global warming, crazy weather patterns, the fiscal cliff, the cost of health insurance, veterans broken by war, “Black Friday” (err….Thursday Night), Christmas spending of what we don’t have for what we don’t need, civilian populations terrorized and killed by irresponsible leaders, and more. Really. I am not thankful.
But I do appreciate it all. I’ve decided to reframe thanksgiving, which for me focuses on what I’ve been given, to appreciation, which zeroes in on who I am. Some may say this is a distinction without a difference. Maybe it’s just an alternative emphasis. In any case, I need to shake it up ever so often.
My appreciator says that I am unique, creative, resourceful, and whole. This voice tells me that I have the inner resources not only to cope with adversity, but the find my truth, power, and transformation through it. I can find good as a result even of evil, move forward in my life, and become empowered to help others find their truth. I can change, so says my appreciator. I can follow my passion, so proclaims my appreciator. I can, in this moment, take joy in who I am, despite the condition of much of the world around me.
Men and Women: it is time stop beating up yourselves for not providing your families with all that is on their wish lists. It is time to stop berating yourselves for not fulfilling the dreams others have had for you…to be the perfect spouse, parent, child, or sibling…or employee. It is time to quiet your saboteurs by calling on your appreciator that says: “You are the most wonderful gift given to you by the universe. You are the loving person you were meant to be, no matter what you accomplish. You are fine just the way you are, despite the messages to the contrary that bombard your tender heart.”
Now that’s what I call Thanksgiving. May we learn it, teach it, and live it.
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