This period around Thanksgiving always gets people thinking about that word “thanks” and everyone wants to know what you are “thankful” for. Too often, that directs our thinking to what is happening around us and we try to think of “things” that we are “thankful” for. But I believe that concept is too narrow. First, by only occurring once a year and second, by only being directed outside ourselves.
Me, I choose to be grateful! All year, everyday, all the time. No matter the season, the weather, the month or the holiday, I am grateful. My state of gratitude has nothing to do with whether the stock market is up or down, whether I’m sick or well, whether the world is at war or at peace. I choose to be grateful!
I choose . . . . yes, I choose. It’s not a given, it’s a choice. To be grateful or greedy, to be grateful or selfish, to be grateful or thoughtless. Believe me, I’ve done all the others. They don’t work, they don’t get me though the day and they hurt. They hurt me and everyone around me. So I choose to be grateful!
Being grateful is a state of mind. It’s more than thankfulness. It’s being in harmony with the present, whatever that is. It’s the best place to be ready for what happens next. It’s being alive and accepting everything that means, such as joy, pain, wisdom, loss, growth and beauty. As Henry Van Dyke said, “Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, to work, to play, and to look up at the stars.” In other words, choose to be grateful!
Being in a state of gratitude leaves no time for fear or worry, no time to keep up with the Joneses, no time to depend on others for happiness. Gratitude is contentment and peace where you are, with who you are, no matter what you have. It is not happiness that makes you grateful, but gratitude that makes you happy.
So for this year, for this Thanksgiving, for today I choose to be grateful!