Thanksgiving is here again, and all around us are reminders to give thanks. However we celebrate the holiday, many of us can easily list the “good” things for which we’re grateful: comfortable dwellings; a well-stocked pantry; loving friends and family; fulfilling work; time to play and rest; and money in the bank, among others.
The greater challenge, though, especially as we continue to grow in spiritual maturity, is to be grateful for everything in our lives. Everything. Including the stuff we don’t like. For as the Disciple Paul teaches: “Give thanks in all circumstances.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
As we continue our faithful journeys, one of our greatest discoveries is that liking and thanksgiving are not synonymous. And when we’re willing to give thanks for things we don’t like, enjoy, appreciate, understand, or know, we gain greater clarity about our goals, our purpose, and especially, our paths.
This thanksgiving process can be a tremendous spiritual turnaround for us, no matter where we are on life’s journey. Because without assessing what doesn’t work or fulfill us in life, we keep spiritually bypassing the very things which invite us to go deeper and to check in with ourselves about what we truly love and value most.
Consider this list:
- Unhealthy relationships
- Physical ailments
- Financial hardships
- Unresolved conflicts
- Addictive behaviors
- Excessive activity, anger, and/or clutter
- Unresolved grief
- Misdirected compassion
Whether we can check one item on the list or several, each is a blessed invitation to turn within, to contemplate what’s before us in all aspects of our lives: emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual. Individually, any of these circumstances can sink us into despair and desolation. Or they can be welcome messengers. Then we can be grateful to see things for what they are: Divine opportunities to transform ourselves, whoever we are, and our situations, whatever they may be.
As we review the list and devote ourselves to prayer, meditation, contemplation, and reflection, we begin to find the gifts, then the gratitude, in even the “bad.” We choose to turn around and see the view from another perspective. We may say aloud, “Thank You” for: bedrest; medicine; help and support; time to be alone, clean, cry, heal, or release burdens; as well as to meet new people and explore new places.
Along the way, we feel grateful for enhanced self-awareness, keener intuition, and richer experiences because we know our own hearts. We love who we are, grateful for where we are, now. Especially, we rejoice in who we’re becoming, the greatest expression of God we’re here to be, and we celebrate all the wonder-filled paths yet to come.
Thank you for traveling the path with me, Blessed Readers. Happy Thanksgiving, and Namaste!
© 2018 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks. All rights reserved.