I love this time of year when one is thankful. The leaves are changing color, it’s windy and sometimes sunny and it reminds me of Winnie the Pooh (blistery days). It’s like feeling the process of change! My fireplace gets turned on, my warmer clothes come out, I begin to think of squash, jams and cranberry sauce with blueberries and preparing things for winter.
It’s also a time of year that has a built-in reminder to be grateful whether we are used to giving thanks or not. It forces change upon us to at least face the fall and the fact that everything changes around us every year, even us, our bodies, our relationships, and our perspectives if we are so lucky. It prepares us little by little, to adapt to loss and yet recover and know that there are new beginnings, different beginnings that take us forward to new ways and experiences. God has quite a marvelous plan when you think about it if we surrender to change and it requires us to be flexible. So it’s at this time we are reminded to be thankful for all that we have and for who we have become and for the people in our lives who have challenged us.
Being grateful for all the great good stuff, our health, our chosen career, a job to pay for our responsibilities, people who love us, new cars and homes is the easy part.
I suppose the hardest part is to be thankful for those difficult people who frustrated us, angered us and disappointed us. The people may be in our family or our workplace, or our neighborhood. Those who we didn’t know how to deal with, the people we couldn’t understand who looked at life differently.
These were the situations that were the turning points to choose a new behavior, learn how to respond differently, learn how to say sorry and forgive ourselves and maybe even them for not knowing what they were doing. For these challenges created changes in us.
We were forced in the dynamic to learn to protect our self against any disrespect, learn a new way of behaving, bending a little to be more inclusive, set a respectful limit that says this is who I am, and change our perspective to see the world through the eyes of someone else.
Time To Take Stock
Yes, this is the time to reminisce to take stock, to remember where you have come from and what you have overcome and how you have created yourself to be the person you are proud of. It is because of what others may have said or done that you were provided with a new opportunity to see the world differently and to learn to navigate your way through it.
This is the time this special date reminds us to be thankful, to give thanks to ourselves and others for the part they played in the change, your change. For the ex-husband who wasn’t there, so you could build strength. Or for the child that expressed his anger to the world and your compassion and limit setting that you learned to practice. For the friend who betrayed you so you could practice forgiveness and be more selective. Maybe for the unrequited love you learned wouldn’t have been a good match anyway. It could be for the co-worker who did not vote for you so you could see what he was really like. There are so many other experiences that taught you life was unfair, even the parent who could have made it fair but didn’t.
There will always be those that you hold close and thank so much for being there, just being there when expected family wasn’t. When hospital visits made you meet a neighbor who was there who cared, when a stranger stopped long enough to hear you, when someone was there. Because when someone is there it tells us we are not alone. Those are the people who have experienced many of the same feelings and they do care. So remember to thank them because they chose to BE there when they didn’t have to and when someone doesn’t have to.
We Are Interconnected
It’s a lovely thing because it reminds us that we are here and we are interconnected with one another in more ways than just one. There is always someone who cares! So use this time to say thank you to all those who didn’t have to, who were difficult, or who affected or influenced you. They played a part in what you needed to know, accept, forgive and learn about or change.
And no matter what you choose to do, make the turkey or eat steak, enjoy this time to reflect. Not everyone wants to come home for Thanksgiving but you can be giving your love to those who you want to be there.