Some time this weekend many of us are sitting around listening to their stomach digest after eating copious amounts of turkey and all the fixin's plus great portions of pie.
Thanksgiving is rather like Christmas. There's the build up. Followed at times with the anti-climatic let down. I say this because the expectation often doesn't measure up to reality. It's way too early for me to even think about Christmas and so I write today about Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving's emphasis is on gratitude, but as most of us know it certainly wasn't about this so much historically for many, especially for Indigenous First Nations people.
Gratitude is exactly where my happiness lies. Regardless of what is happening in my life or around me, if I can maintain a grateful attitude this can diminish many of my feelings of unhappiness when I have them. But I'm not always looking to rid myself of unhappy feelings, because otherwise I'd be in denial, going backwards, and I'd probably appear as a rather unfeeling person, lacking in compassion. Reality is life isn't always happy. Shit happens.
There was a time when I did everything I could to avoid feelings, mostly through the abuse and misuse of alcohol, something a lot of people do. After 22 years of sobriety I am so very grateful I no longer have to live this way. I've learned to live gratefully, clean and sober, one day at a time.
Yesterday I heard a timely CBC Radio re-broadcast of a program about Viktor Frankel and his book Man's Search for Meaning. Viktor Frankel's framed his perception of life as having the freedom to choose his attitude and his own way of response to life whatever our life's circumstances. I see this as learning how to have a grateful attitude and a way of living my life, not simply for one day out of the year.
How ironical. Just as I was about to hit publish, the power went out and just came back on about three quarters of an hour ago, all over Nova Scotia, about 7,800 people, with some people not expected to get power restored until Wednesday morning. It's been out here in Apple River, all afternoon until now. My response was mostly good but I admit, I said a few swear words.
On the other hand, the gratitude I have is that we weren't hit by Hurricane Matthew here in Nova Scotia as first predicted. While in the dark tonight, I wrote twenty pages in my journal by candle light, and I prayed for those who have been effected by this Hurricane, especially in Haiti.
There is so very much to be grateful for everyday. My prayer for you on this Thanksgiving Day, is that you be blessed with abundant gratitude, everyday and to pass it on..