Over the past week many of us sat around the table and expressed thanks for different things we have in our lives. Family, friends, freedom and God all made the list around our table. But what does it mean to be truly grateful?
Gratitude is something we should look for everyday of our lives. Even when we’re having a rotten day, week, month or even year, we can always find something that we should be thankful for. They can be simple things like the unconditional love of a pet or the rain taking a break for an hour or two.
Years ago Oprah encouraged her audience to keep a journal where they would keep a log of five things they were grateful for each day. Before your head hits the pillow each night write those things down on paper so you can look back at them, especially when you’re having a rough time.
It is important to note that everyone goes through trials in life so even if you think that you are the only one out there suffering, remember you’re not and as human beings we have been given all we need to cope with our trials. And sometimes that means taking an anti-depressant. There is no shame in that.
Most days it is so easy to find five things to be thankful for but some days we may have a tough time coming up with even one. Those days just remember to be thankful for waking up another day!
By focusing on the good in our lives we will constantly be looking for the positive instead of focusing on the negative.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading many of my friends Facebook posts this month, many of them posting daily something they are grateful for. One of my favorites was written by a friend of mine who came through the trials of cancer.
She wrote, “I am thankful that I traveled the cancer journey. It changed me forever. I am blessed to be a survivor and to have the opportunity to do what I can to help others that are faced with the same journey. I have met so many wonderful, amazing people during this journey.... Thank you, God.”
Even through the toughest moments of her life she has found the positive and ways to help others traveling the same road.
We have so much to be grateful for, especially the fact that we live in America where we enjoy freedoms that many around the globe can only dream of. Most of us sit comfortably in our homes with heat, water and food not even thinking of what a luxury these things really are.
We have men and women in uniform who have fought and continue to fight to ensure we get to keep those gifts. How grateful I am to each of them and their families who sacrifice for me.
One Facebook friend said it best when she told another friend how grateful she was for her son who is serving in the Army in Afghanistan.
“Thank you for raising a wonderful son who is serving all of us! And to you Chelsea (his wife) for sharing him, even on the holidays.”
This holiday season I hope we can all remember what we have to be thankful for and never forget those who have given so much to ensure us the opportunity to continue to enjoy the life we live!