So it’s Thanksgiving. What do you have to be thankful for?
“So it’s Thanksgiving. What do I have to be thankful for? Lost my job, my income, and even my self confidence is slowly slipping away. I just can’t feel gratitude for what is a disaster in my life.”
Sounds familiar? Perhaps even expressed by you?
Seems like platitudes abound at this time of year and you are just not buying any of it – nor should you.
Gratitude, contrary to popular opinion, is not something we put on like a new holiday outfit with the accompanying verbiage of how lucky we are to have a roof over our head, to have friends and family, to be in decent health. Not that there is anything wrong with being grateful for these incredible things. But it falls short of the mark.
Thanksgiving is about turning inward and being thankful for who we are, where we have come, and where we plan to go. It is about a journey and how well and honestly we have made choices along the way. It is about being able to look ourselves in the eye and genuinely feel we have done our very best and that tomorrow we will do even better. It is about stripping away the non essentials and facing the core. Because the truth of the matter is that only you can access what you truly need to give thanks for.
You may have lost your job or your career. You may have to work hard and long to get another and brainstorm and strategize like you have never done before.
But if you can step back and try to be as objective as possible, you may realize you have been given an opportunity – an opportunity for deep inner reflection that does not present itself in the midst of a hectic and frenetic work life with impossible deadlines.
Where do you want to be? What direction do you want to pursue? What was right about what you no longer have and what conflicted with who you really are?
Now is the time for you to set a new course or realign the course you had been on in a more meaningful and satisfying way.
While it may be a stretch to be thankful for losing your job, you can legitimately be grateful for the opportunity to reflect, reassess, refocus, and reinvigorate yourself and your goals. Life is a precious gift and it is not diminished by temporary setbacks or a run of unsuccessful attempts. In fact, under duress we often gain strength and uncover talents we never knew were there. Life moves forward and so will you.
Remember the concept, “pay it forward,” where a good deed is repaid by doing something good for someone else? Well, a new variation could be, “be grateful forward.” Be grateful for what you will be creating, the new skills you will be learning, and all the joyful possibilities. In the process, you may touch others in ways you can’t even imagine right now. And so the gratitude will go forward.
Take this lovely holiday of Thanksgiving to give yourself the gift of reflection and the incubation of a new vision.
Wishing you and your families the blessings of the season and true light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Written with Camille Kramer. Thank you for your insights Camille.