This has been a tough year for everyone. Emotionally, politically, economically and - well - just super stressful. Is there anything to be grateful about? Yes. In fact, it’s times like this when we need to be grateful the most.
I say this a lot about compassion but it’s also true of gratitude. Gratitude isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for you. It may also help the other person, but even if it doesn’t, it will definitely help you.
We humans spend a LOT of time in our own heads. We worry. We fret. We have angst and insecurities and doubts and fears. When we take to the time to take stock of our lives, specifically focusing on the things that are good, a wonderful thing happens. We fret just a little less. We remind ourselves that yes – life is worth living. That there is still some good in the world. And that fighting to protect what is good is worthwhile. Not just for ourselves, but for others as well.
Motivating myself can be difficult at times. Reminding myself that there are other people and those other people are often really wonderful, helps me feel connected. Yes, there is still hurt and suffering. But there are also people who give of themselves to make the hurt just a little less.
When I think back to the times in my life that were the most difficult, I also think of the people who cared for me enough to do little things that showed me they cared. This knowledge, that people care – even for total strangers. Is what love is about. It is the best of what humans are capable of. It is inspiring and humbling and amazing and wonderful.
You all know I am not a big fan of the positive thinking movement. Positive thoughts don’t have magic powers. But consciously thinking about who and what you are grateful for, isn’t magic. It won’t magically make your problems go away. But it may just help you find the courage to keep going when the going gets tough.
My hope for you and all of humanity this holiday season is that we all remember that we are all in this thing called life together and the only thing that makes it bearable is the love we show to each other.