Saturday, August 14, 2010

Being Thankful

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Think back to when you were a child...those anxious, impatient days leading up to Christmas.  Remember how you felt? Remember how the time leading up to the big day felt like an eternity?  And then the big day came...and there was the hasty opening of the gifts.  Paper flying everywhere.  Oh, what joy!!!  And then the magical day was over, and when we went to bed, our thoughts now turned to our birthday or to our mid-winter vacation at school.  The point being, when we were children, we always found something to look forward to.

We may say that we 'wish' we could have everything that we wanted, but ff we had everything we wanted, what would be left for us to wish for?  The magic would be gone.  Besides, it's not really true that those who have everything are happy; in fact, it is just the opposite.  What's the old saying?...The more you have, the more you want?"  Greed begets greed, and suddenly you find you can never have enough. The magic of anticipation disappears, and in its place a deep-rooted unhappiness begins to set in as you become a person driven by desire alone.

Be thankful when you don't know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

You are never too old too learn.  Not too long ago, a woman in her 80's graduated from college with her master's degree. I was in my 40's when I changed careers, and worked towards my degree in my 50's.  I love learning and am always looking for something new.  A prime example was just the other day when I first learned of Shadow People.  Immediately, I set a course to learn all I could about these mysterious beings.  Every day we run into something new...a new recipe, a new hobby, etc.  Our friends and acquaintances may say something setting off our desire to know more.  Learning is what keeps us alive. Our ancestors learned to make and use fire, to hunt and farm.  We live because of what they learned. 
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

We all know the old saying, Without darkness, there would be no light.  How true is that!  The other day, in my Huna studies, I read another one....If everything in the world was the same color, and there was only one sound in the world, we would not be able to see or hear.  Profound, but oh so true. Life on a silver platter offers us nothing.  It is those times of struggle that teaches us to appreciate what we have, however little it may be, to appreciate family, to appreciate life.    

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

I'm not going to lie...this isn't an easy one for me...only because it is hard for me to take criticism. I am Superwoman who has no limits. I'm so darned independent; I like to think I can do it asking for help is hard for me to do.  But then, it becomes a vicious cycle of...going ahead and doing it on my own and then facing criticism when it is not done properly...and then the "Why didn't you ask?"  I basically grew up taking care of myself, so asking for help was something I never really learned how to do. I am getting better though; it is hard breaking a habit which took a lifetime to build.

 Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

It's the hard things in life which teach us the lesson of gratitude. We all have to go through personal challenges from time to time. There is no exception to this rule.  It is how we react to these challenges that has a lot to say about our character and whether or not we have what it takes to persevere and ride out the storm. And the more challenged we are in life, the more we get to learn about ourselves for if we never had to face a challenge, we would never know just where we need to make improvements, and this helps to build our character.  

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Gosh, mistakes, I wouldn't know where to begin.  I've made so many in my life...some of which I will never have the opportunity to make amends for. But I have learned that sitting around and dwelling on what "I should have or could have" done leaves no room for one to heal.  Healing begins with accepting that we have made a mistake and using that mistake as a means of growth for it is only through our mistakes that we grow.  

   Be thankful when you're tired and weary
Because it means you've made a difference.

How many nights to I come home from work...physically drained...just wanting to fall into bed and forget about it all.  I want to quit my job and forget about it all, but then I remember the success stories...however few they may be...and suddenly it becomes all worth it.  No matter what, I do know that everyday I am making some kind of difference in someone's life...even just by showing them that there is someone who cares, someone who will listen.  We all make a difference in someone's life...the neighbor across the street whose day we brighten when we offer a cheerful good morning; the store clerk whose day is brightened by our matter how long we wait in line; our children and families who know that we love them, and that love makes a difference in their lives.  Yes, when we fall into bed, tired and weary, know that you have made a difference in someone's life.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessing.


  1. A beautiful post. It's made me reflect on my own blessings and thankfulness. x

  2. You always move me with your posts Mary. I love them all, but will confess, this is my favorite. Your wisdom and knowledge inspire to never stop learning. Your Friend, Angie and I am Thankful that I met you.

  3. So much Wisdom... Of course, if we had EVERYTHING, what a bore life would be.