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When Gratitude is a Challenge

This post is from 2010 but I know it still applies. Regardless of what the holidays mean to you or what you are dealing with take time tomorrow to enjoy the pause. Wishing you a peaceful Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow we officially kick off the Holiday season with Thanksgiving.  I do love this holiday.  I love the idea of having a day of thanks, being grateful and gathering with friends and family to eat a big yummy meal!!   This holiday was founded on the idea of taking time out, taking a pause from the rush of life to reflect and be thankful.

However, as I write, I am struck that for some people, my clients, my friends even myself from time to time, gratitude can be a challenge.  Sometimes we really have to dig deep to find the gratitude in our lives.  Perhaps in the past year, you have lost a loved one, a job, or maybe you are going through a divorce.  Maybe the economy has put a crimp in your style and you are frustrated.  Sometimes life deals us a bad hand, sometimes we are frustrated, discouraged and just down right exhausted.  When we are feeling lost and frustrated the simple reminder of “be grateful” and “count your blessings” can get old.  No matter how much we KNOW we should count our blessings, sometimes it is just hard.

So if you or someone you know has come to this Thanksgiving Holiday not feeling quite as thankful as last year, that’s ok.  Maybe all you can muster for your gratitude this year is that you are alive or that you have a place to gather for the holiday.  That’s ok.  In my opinion, the point of this holiday isn’t to make us feel bad because we don’t feel as jolly as we SHOULD, it is to remind us to take a pause in our lives.  Thanksgiving reminds us to take stock of all the little things that make up our lives, the small every day blessings including:  a warm bed, the smell of coffee in the morning, listening to your favorite song, wearing your most comfy sweater and gathering with friends and family.  Sometimes we do have to dig deep to recognize the blessings amongst  the pain.

This Thanksgiving take chance to breathe in the natural pause. The time to gather with friends and family and to reflect on what the past year has brought both the joys and the sorrows.  Give yourself a break–literally!!   Be thankful for all the little blessings you have, mourn the losses that have occurred and embrace the complexities of doing both.  By taking the time to celebrate our blessings and honor our losses we will continue to live happier lives.

A brief shout out to the small joys in my life that I am so thankful for:  A career that makes my heart sing, my nearest and dearest who supports and loves me with all my imperfections, my family who remains a warm soft blanket even as time forces us to shift and change, my friends who continually challenge support and love me through it all and my pets who make me laugh and feel unconditionally loved on a daily basis!!  I am truly blessed and will happily enjoy the pause of this Thanksgiving.

Enjoy the Pause, Happy Thanksgiving!!

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