In this tumultuous world of sadness and tragedy, do you find it hard to be honestly thankful?
I don’t mean simple words of thanksgiving. I mean deep down in your heart thankful. The evening news is riddled with new traumas every day. Each news-story seems to grow with intensity, producing greater shock and horror. The tragedies inch closer to home. Or, have landed in our homes.
Thankfulness does not equal happiness, tranquility, or “everything is wonderful”.
In 1621, at the first Thanksgiving, America’s first citizens weren’t celebrating extravagant life in America. They hadn’t discovered gold, struck it rich or found a life of cushy ease. They celebrated harvest; crops, potatoes, corn … life’s subsistence. By today’s standards, they were celebrating the “little things”, only to them, they were the biggest things.
They spent months languishing near death; watching their numbers dwindle. Harvest meant hope of survival through winter; their sole focus. Having bare necessities for life; food, water, shelter. These were the components of jubilant celebration.
What these early American’s didn’t feel, at this point in history, is thankful. Life was brutally difficult: not the “utopia”, they had crossed oceans for. Yet, what seems impossible, is exactly the problem’s antidote. Thankfulness is found in the simple. It spills over, as it is practiced, into the heart, which nourishes the spirit and enlivens a person.
Maybe, this Thanksgiving, we should all emulate what the Settlers began: thankfulness for the “little things”, passing us without notice. The joy of a smile, laughter, a hug, blue skies, children to tuck in, a bed, a roof, family jokes, mispronounced words of a youngster, loving eyes, water, a food smudged face, laundry to clean, floors to mop, a refrigerator, kindness, sunshine in the morning, the painted sky of sunset, large brilliant harvest moons, smell of pumpkin pies, visiting friends, rain, phone calls from relatives, children swinging, sweet faces asleep, shoes, transportation, birds singing, radiance of flowers, leaves changing colors, potatoes, corn, etc.
Amazing. It took till the 21st century for medical science to confirm the practice of Early Americans. Daily thanksgiving is a practice that results in untold benefits. All who practice it reap benefits. Thankfulness, for the smallest things in life, proves to yield sustaining power and transformation. (Read more here)
Turns out, what the Early American’s started is the healthiest way to live.
Living with gratitude and thankfulness perpetuates a positive outcome.
Somehow, it transforms the mind by forcing it to look at the positive.
Even though, big things may be tragic and messy in this world, you can still find the “little thankfuls” and focus there. If only, for a few seconds; take notice and whisper “thank you”.
Life will look different; it will be different…
change will come…
from the inside out.
Several hundred years ago, a tradition was birthed… keep the tradition, your heart will thank you!
Count Your Blessings,
Feel free to share with a friend(s).
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