How was your Thanksgiving?
This is going to be rather short, but I think it’s important.
It’s the time of year when it seems that everywhere you look, you’re being reminded to have an “attitude of gratitude”. Social media, commercials and other advertisements, newspaper and magazine articles – all of them reminding everyone to be thankful. It’s a message that will repeat over and over and over again till the start of the new year.
It’s great to sometimes be reminded to stop and smell the flowers, count our blessings, be awed by the stars above, and appreciate some of the people in our lives in a way that makes sure they know they matter. Social media in particular is full of challenges and reminders to do so. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say it almost rises to the level of low-key bullying.
Trying to feel a sense of gratitude and appreciation is extremely difficult for some people. There are people who happen to be predisposed to feeling less gratitude simply as a result of genetics, personality, and brain function. I’m a naturally optimistic and positive person. Truthfully, I believe that’s one of the main things that has kept me going, even with all the dark and negative things in my life. But I even have difficulty with this at times.
In fact, I struggled with Thanksgiving more than I expected to this year.
Some thoughts this holiday season:
- Don’t expect to feel grateful about the same things as everyone else.
- Don’t judge your level of gratitude against what you think others feel.
- You can be grateful for memories even if you don’t really feel like anything in your life today makes you feel appreciative.
- Life is not a novel or movie, so don’t hold your real life up to a fictional standard.
- Don’t expect to feel continually grateful about anything in particular, because feelings naturally fluctuate.
- You can be grateful for people in your life even though they sometimes make you feel angry or upset.
- You aren’t a bad person if you don’t really enjoy spending a holiday the way family or other obligations might require.
- You’re not a bad person if this wasn’t your favorite holiday celebration.
- Your enjoyment of a holiday is not necessarily related to your feelings for the people involved.
- You don’t have to justify or explain your feelings to any of your friends or relatives.
I think that’s pretty much all I’d like to say today. Not a big word count, but hopefully, for somebody out there it’s the right words at the right time.
If anybody would like to share with me your thoughts, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I always enjoy reading what you write.