When I teach about forgiveness, step number six (of my 10 steps) talks about the importance of embracing an “attitude of gratitude.” This Thanksgiving, as we gather amongst family and friends, let’s be grateful for all our blessings as we also try to be a blessing to others; especially the less fortunate. Thanksgiving represents the “kick-off” of the holiday season, where people look forward to celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe to just name a few. How will you show your gratitude for all the wonderful people, places and things that are a part of your life?
I know for some, this past year may have had its share of trials and tribulations and I understand. Although I live a very open and public life that shows a lot of joy, I too experience things that are not so positive and I am sensitive to the hurts and pains of others. One of the lessons I’ve learned is that no matter what we may go through there’s always someone else that has had it a little harder. As long as we are above ground, we have another opportunity to make things better and improve our lot in life. Our attitude plays a big role on our outlook and ultimately our outcome in life.
When you look at a glass, do you see it as half full or half empty? When you awake in the morning is your attitude, “Good Morning God” or, “Good God; it’s Morning”? Remember, our perspective and how we internalize and think about things makes a difference. Thoughts become actions. Before we can ever put our hands to doing anything, we must first think about it and visualize it. Therefore, we must have an attitude of gratitude throughout our lifetime if we expect to see the brighter side of things.
I believe our attitude is our choice. If I am working on trying to improve my attitude, one of the things I do is make a list of all my blessings and all of the things I am grateful for. The more I focus on the things I have to be grateful for, the less I have time to focus on the negatives or the things that may not be going as I would hope. My perspective begins to change and instead of feeling down I can smile. Another thing I’ve learned over time is when I am a little down and having a hard time, I begin to help others more. The more we help others, the less time we have to focus on ourselves.
I would like to encourage all of us to pause before we get caught up in the throes of the holidays to practice kindness to all mankind. Remember humanity is fragile and it is incumbent upon all of us to do our share of uplifting others along the way. This is the perfect time to try and be less interesting and more interested in the lives of others. Go out of your way to help someone that could use a little help from what you have to offer. I guarantee you will feel better and be grateful for the blessings in your life.
William Arthur Ward shared; “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” Let’s all be the change this season by having an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving. Let’s take the focus off ourselves and turn our face to helping someone in need. Helping others always makes me grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!
Healing Without Hate: It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!