A Pagan In The Midst
Column for November, 1997
A Time Of Thanks!
By: Jennifer Rogers
There are times in the year that due to Religious beliefs, traditions or just because every body else is doing it, we give Thanks. It doesnt matter whether we feel grateful or not we end up getting the family together even if the relatives have distinct dislikes and hesitations about these so called family gatherings. What ends up happening is a lot of stress, anxiety filled days and competition. Yes competition, because last year the Big Event was at Aunt Marthas she was trying to impress everyone with her new kitchen cabinets and now its your turn to show off how well you and hubby are doing. Somehow pretty soon, we have lost the "Spirit of Thanks" and gained the "Spirit of Well show them".
I have observed from my own personal experience that people loose touch with the simple things and forget to enjoy the really meaningful things that take place everyday. Like the breath you take when you open the window on a crisp autumn day and it fills your lungs with new life. When you first open your eyes in the morning and are greeted with the sounds of birds singing in the distance. When you are driving home, and the Sun is setting and creating a beautiful painting on the Twilight Skies.
To me that is something to give thanks for, not running around in circles trying to create a culinary master piece, where everybody is going to indulge to the point of being stuffed more than the turkey that was gracing the table. It is not the quantity, it is the quality, it is not how much you have but how much you value everything around you.
I think if people strive to be content with the simple things that transpire as an everyday occurrence, people would be more satisfied and thankful for what they have. That is not to say that we should stop growing or trying to achieve better things for our families and ourselves, what Im saying is that as we climb that ladder of success we should take time upon each step and enjoy the moment and give thanks for being at that plateau. Life is constantly changing and one thing we cannot do is to go back and recapture the joy of something that was left behind, because we were in too much of a hurry to take time to have fun with it.
Dont forget somebody really important that we should be thankful to. Ourselves, for we are somewhat responsible for our achievements and very often even when everybody else appreciate us, we dont think we deserve it. Its okay, give yourself a pat on the back. You are a creature of light, a spirit in human form, you are here to learn lessons and help others learn theirs. Dont be so hard on yourself, for even when we fail we learn not to do it a certain way so we can do better next time. Give thanks to you, treat yourself well, maybe buy yourself a little treat or just take an extra five minutes in that bubble bath and say I am thankful for living and for all those around me that make my life a happy place.
Life its truly what you make it. We have choices, we choose our friends, our lifestyles, our careers and the paths to our destinies. Be thankful for those choices for they are given to us by a Higher Power, The Universal Energy, God and Goddess whatever you choose to call it. But with the choice comes the responsibility to work it in a way that will cause happiness and well being to us. When we are content with the choices that we make from our hearts on a daily basis, there is so much to be thankful for.
Life has challenges, bumps that lay on the road to see how long it takes us to figure out how to overcome them. Whether we keep running into them, trying to grind them down eventually, maybe trying to go around them. Or perhaps, just stepping back, catching your second wind and leaping over the problem. Whichever plan of attack you use eventually, you will be looking back at that bump on the road in the distance behind you and will be thankful you overcame it no matter how you did it, what counts is to be grateful because you didnt give up.
Giving thanks is not something you do to gain praise from others. Giving thanks on a daily basis should be as unsolicited as taking a breath. We have so many gifts in our lives. Look around you, your family, your beautiful children even your pets, the flowers in the little pots in your garden window. That fresh pot of brewed coffee and that wonderful smell that fills your morning air. Whatever it is, take a second or two and rejoice in it. Life is precious, enjoy it and be thankful. Dont store all your thanks for one particular evening.
Before I go, lets try something Okay? Im glad you agreed. Thank you.
Go in front of a mirror and say the word "Thanks". Can you say it without smiling? Its almost impossible, isnt it? How do you feel when you smile? Good, happy, thankful.
Keep smiling, and thanking everything for everything is a gift.
I thank you for reading this article.
Till next time.