What sort of envoi could I pass along on Thankgiving? Several drafts of this post have sent me in several different directions, so here’s a short version:
- Life is often confusing, not least because the world is full of pain and full of beauty, both at once.
- Despite this confusion, it’s well worth the effort — always — to feel and display gratitude. Sometimes it does take effort, especially when it seems that everything is going against you. That’s a part of life, too.
- Persistent gratitude, not just on Thanksgiving but every day, warps your brain in a good direction. It leaves you open to recognizing the good things already in your life, and the new good things that life keeps sending your way.
- Warp your brain in this direction for long enough, and you provide yourself with a terrific defense against life’s hardest times. Not a Pollyanna defense, but a real, tough-minded defense that allows you to see the paths out of the valley of darkness.
- Not only will you develop this defense for yourself, but your mindset will spread. Your gratitude and sense of possibility will rub off on others. This happens even when you don’t realize that it’s happening. Maybe especially then. You’ll find out, sometimes years later, that a word you said, a feeling you expressed, shone a crack of daylight into someone else’s valley of darkness. Expect to be humbled by this experience. Be grateful for that experience of being humbled, too.
- In the end, so much of our grief doesn’t really matter. Experience fully the love, the hope, and the beauty that’s available to you right now, whether it’s Thanksgiving with your family and friends or the middle of your year on an emotional desert island. Live the best of what’s available to you today, and be grateful that you’re here at all.
I hope your Thanksgiving is fabulous. Hug someone you love. Let them know you’re grateful that they’re around. If you have no one to hug, just pause for two minutes to be grateful for what you do have.
Thanks to you for reading my thoughts here, which far too often reflect my weaknesses rather than my strengths. I’m grateful for the venue and the audience. Thank you.