Around Thanksgiving, especially we think about all the things we’re grateful in life. I don’t know about you, but I also do this on a daily basis in my journal. It’s something that keeps me grounded and focused on what’s good in my life.
Giving thanks requires you to learn the art of giving and receiving. One of the benefits is that you’ll learn to acknowledge what others have contributed to your life as well as what you have created for yourself and how your creation contributes to others.
Before you can give you must acknowledge and appreciate the value of what you have received. And by received I’m also including who you have become and the gifts you have been blessed with.
There are many ways you can give love by giving thanks for your gifts:
- You can teach what you’ve learned
- You can give your time
- You can give your attention
- You can give your ideas
- You can give your money to a cause you believe in
When I look at the totality of my life, I’ve had a pretty great life that I’m very grateful for. At the same time, nobody’s life is a straight line to the top. There are times when you hit bottom and there are times when you really depend on the support of your friends who love you.
I’m no history teacher, but I can tell you that all those years ago when the pilgrims came to this country, it was no day at the beach. They had a lot to deal with just to stay alive and make a new home for themselves.
And yet at that one point in time they came together to give thanks. Look at the struggles many of us all over the world are going through right now. I know that no matter what your personal situation, we can all find things we are grateful for right now.
Personally, I’ve been married and divorced a couple times. I’ve had lots of money and I’ve been close to broke a few times. I’ve also had a couple brushes with life threatening illness. Neither happy times or the struggles define us. Everything is a passing situation in the end it doesn’t make any difference what label we put on them. The only thing that matters is being grateful for the lessons they bring us.
For example, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I developed much deeper relationships with my friends and found some new friends. I’ve allowed myself to be much more open and honest and vulnerable in my life and I’m very grateful for the wonderful gifts I’ve experienced because I’ve opened my heart in that way.
Over the years, especially since writing, “Change One Thing, Change Your Life”, I’ve discovered that most people either have a difficult time with giving or receiving. We all seem to be more comfortable on one side of the equation or the other. But very few people are at ease with both.
Today, take a look at which is easier for you to do. If you can give all day long but find it difficult to allow someone to do something for you, give that pleasure to someone who loves you today and let them experience how wonderful it feels to give.
If you’re one of those people who is good about receiving, but maybe you’ve convinced yourself you don’t have anything worth giving, just try giving a little bit to someone you love today and see what happens. How about saying something nice and watching how that makes the other person light up. That’s your gift.
Step out of your normal comfort zone and really experience what giving thanks is all about. I promise you’ll feel better at the end of the day for doing it.