Thanksgiving and gratitude
There have been several times since the death of my wife, Debbie,(which happened about three years ago) that I have felt very down and disheartened. I miss Debbie, who was not only my wife and lover, but she also was my best fried.
I remember more than once walking into Starbucks feeling way down and ordering a coffee. The people behind the counter kept on asking me how I was and how my day was going? I didn’t want to go into it, so I said, “Fine.” And I smiled.
After getting coffee, I sat down at a table and took out my laptop. Then I started writing a prayer letter to Spirit. I have an electronic “God box.” In the olden days, my God box was an actual box where I placed paper letters to God. With an electronic God Box, what I have done is get an email address which I have given out to nobody. I don’t get spam in this electronic God box or emails vowing to improve my love life by 91.3 %. Instead there are only my emails to God in my inbox.
I then write down what I think is depressing me and what I am resentful about. I write a detailed email about the situation(s). Then I write about my side of the street. Where have I missed the mark? Where do I need more spiritual growth? I then write/pray for the strength to grow in this area. I try to make certain that I have detailed when I need to do forgiveness work.
The last thing I write down in my prayer letters is my Gratitude List. What am I grateful for right now?
After doing all of this, I find that while I am still in Starbucks I feel much better. Nothing has changed on the outside world, but I feel so much better. When I change inside– and become recentered in God– then I am able to leave Starbucks, face the world, and have a good day. But “an Attitude of Gratitude” has been needed to get me over the bumps I sometimes run into since Debbie has died.
I have found that gratitude is so important for me for the following reasons:
- I will lose my temper, and my blood pressure will rise if I am not willing to forgive a family member, friend, or colleague.
- If I am holding on to an old resentment and not ready to forgive, then I am like the person who drinks a bottle of poison and then expects the other person to die.
- When I add gratitude to the list, I start to discover how much I have to be thankful for.
- A gratitude list puts a smile on my face and determination in my step so that I can accomplish (as the old song says), “amazing things!”
- Also, a gratitude list turns me around from “victim thinking” and into “victor thinking.”
I would walk out of Starbucks thinking, “You went in there feeling very down. Now you are walking out feeling good, and nothing has changed except me.”
Gratitude lists are so easy to do, and they are a big pick-me-up (even more than Starbuck’s coffee)! So give yourself a real gift this Thanksgiving’s Day and write a gratitude list. Get out of “victim mode.” As the old Alka-Seltzer commercial told us: “Try it. You’ll like it!”