As our friends in the USA, adjust their waist belts and finish digesting the Thanksgiving Feast, it is a good time for the world to remember how much they have to be grateful for.
I wish that there was a world-wide Thanksgiving Day when every one of us could take a moment to recall the good things in our lives. In fact, we should make every day a Thanksgiving Day. What kind of world do you think this would be if every morning, we woke with thoughts of gratitude in our minds, warm feelings of gratitude in our hearts and words of loving gratitude on our lips?
Instead of stumbling out of bed, half awake and resenting the new day before we even start it, we could breathe deeply for a moment and consciously bring to mind what we have to be grateful for.
Ah, but I can hear you grumbling under your breath, "It's 3 degrees below outside; I'll have to clear the snow from the roof and dig the car out of the garage ; then I'll have to get the kids out of their beds, fight every inch of the way with them to get them out for the bus on time; my husband/wife is on yet another business trip and I'll be risking my life driving through the traffic with a bunch of homicidal psychopaths out to get me before I get to work, where the sociopath boss of mine will get paid more than I do for doing a whole lot less.I would pack it in but the debts are piled high and we need a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. Gratitude, bah, humbug!"
I know all of that. My son glares at me when I wake him on a school morning and we have psychopath drivers here in Scotland too. However, when I am mindfully grateful before I even set foot outside of bed, I can laugh at my son's baleful glance and even send a prayer out for the mental health of those dangerous drivers which is my toughest challenge. When I am grateful, I am Teflon coated. Nothing burns me.
So tomorrow morning, as you awaken, make a little adjustment to your perspective on life and it might sound like this:
I am grateful for the roof over my head when so many slept in the open last night.
I am grateful for the warm comfort of my bed and knowing that I have a loving partner who would rather be here with me but cares so much about this family they work away from home.
I am grateful for the kids who are the greatest creations of my life. I am grateful for loving and being loved.
I am grateful that I have a strong roof which bears the weight of the snow. I am grateful for a garage to keep my car in. Oh and that's another one to be grateful for, the car!
I'm grateful for being strong and healthy enough to dig the snow from the driveway. Great exercise and it costs me nothing.
I am grateful for the noise and squabbling of my kids as they get ready for school. This is a sign that they feel free to be themselves and that they trust me not to harm them. It's not like that in every home.
I am grateful for the food I can afford to give them when so many starve around the world.
I am grateful for the school where they will receive an education which will take them out into a world of infinite opportunity. Many children are never given this wonderful chance.
I am grateful for the bus which takes them to school and I am grateful for the driver who will ensure they get there safely, In so many places, children must walk for hours in the blazing sun to reach a school.
I am grateful that I am not a psychopath driver. It must be terrible to live in that mind, with all that rage and pain. I am grateful for my ability to be calm.
I am grateful to have a job when so many are unemployed.
I am grateful that my boss is just a sociopath; he could have been a psychopath. In any case, I am grateful that I have a job because it makes it easier to find another one where the boss is not deranged.
I am grateful for the knowlege that by carefully balancing my expenditure I can gradually reduce my debts and be forever free of them. Some people simply don't know how to do this.
Wake up and smell the roses, or if not the roses, the toast. Wake up to gratitude and whatever the world throws your way, you will greet it with resilience and courage. You might get a little singed around the edges but you won't get burned up.
Yes, Gratitude is Teflon coating for the soul.