There is a difference between feeling thankful and being thankful. Being thankful requires a decision. It is a choice to look beyond what may be missing or lacking in your life and yet, still choose to be grateful for whatever remains, as well as for whatever you have been blessed to escape. Being thankful, especially in difficult circumstances, is an intentional decision, not a natural feeling. Deliberate choices must trump the defaulting negative emotions that strive for power and seek to rule your thoughts and behavior. Choosing to be thankful requires sacrifice. You must sacrifice your pride, your sorrow, your selfishness, your desire, your pity and your anger and replace it with a heart of thanksgiving, a countenance of satisfaction, words of appreciation and gestures of gratitude. The irony in choosing to be thankful is that it will eventually lead you to feel thankful. “Happy?” Thanksgiving? The choice is yours.
Monthly Archives: November 2013
Ever tried to go through a whole day without participating in anything negative? For the next 24 hours fill your thoughts, conversations and actions with only positive things. Nothing negative. Nothing critical. Nothing skeptical. No fault-finding. No anticipating incompetance. No accusation toward others. No quick-tempered disgust. No judgmental assumptions. No cursing of any kind. And no pity parties. Don’t even consider it. Determine what you will invite into your thoughts. Turn off the radio’s distressing news, the TV’s political debates and toss the newspaper’s daily grief. Count the blessings that surround you. They are there. They’ve always been there. They need your recognition. You need their satisfaction.
Then, read something hopeful, inspirational, educational. Watch something fascinating, incredible, beautiful. Listen to uplifting music, nature’s melodies or the sounds of silence. Saturate your mind with every good thought you can muster. Determine what words you will allow from your lips. Find anything that is worthy of praise or thanksgiving and vocalize it. Realize even your body’s unspoken language. Is it calm, kind, gentle, patient, loving? How is it affecting those around you? Are they comforted by it, attracted to it or are they running from it?
We work so hard to discipline the physical with exercise, clean eating, vitamins and rest, but oh, how desperately neglected are our thoughts, emotions, attitudes and words. 24 hours. Are you up for the challenge? Ready, set, go.
Though some seek happiness in security, comfort and ease, it is best found in the midst of love, enthusiasm and purposefulness. Keep seeking, always, but seek life’s truest treasures. The intangible, untouchable and unbankable riches are the rarest and most valuable of all great fortune.
If there is no lingering effect; or lasting impression; or inspiring transformation, the result of biblical knowledge, religious excitement and spiritual motivation, on a Sunday morning are no different than the temporary adrenaline and exhilaration of watching a good game on a Sunday afternoon. Monday morning, it’s all history.
Top 10 statements longing to be heard by your loved ones:
1. “I’ve got all the time in the world for you.”
2. “I am so proud of you.”
3. “There’s no where else I’d rather be.”
4. “I love you, more.”
5 “I thought about you all day today.”
6. “It was my fault. I’m sorry.”
7. “You’re the best.”
8. “Let it ring.”
9. “Tell me more.”
10. “What would I do without you?”
Coordinated or mismatched, who cares. Fashionable or modest, it doesnt matter. Wrinkly or starched, it won’t define you. What will define you, is how well you wear a different sort of wardrobe. Try on some compassion. Clothe yourself with kindness. Dress in unselfish love. Accessorize with enduring patience. Fasten up your gentleness. Model some forgiveness and slip on a bit of humility. Just please, get dressed.
View life as a constant battle. Anticipate your day as drudgery. Expect nothing but incompetence. Curse the day’s demands and consider it your duty to remind everyone you meet of all the negativity that exists in the world. Blame circumstance for indifference. Justify predicament for apathy. Cram your calendar with everything except the things that matter most. Dismiss hopeful outlooks and grateful thanks as insufficient and fantasy-driven. Disregard the possibility of enjoying leisure or exercise. Convince yourself that ‘it must be nice’ for those who do. Deny the fact that some make time for these things and that it requires sacrifice, discipline and planning. Remain feeling victimized and continue to do this day after day after day.