Monday, November 25, 2013

Being Thankful For Bad Times Too

I was struggling with how to write my "start of the week" blog last night. One reason being that I still have so much on my brain after speaking last week because it truly changed my life in a positive and profound way. The second reason is that I wanted to write something with a lot of meaning... even though ALL of my blog posts have a lot of meaning, being that this is the last post before Thanksgiving, I wanted it to be extra special; so here I sit digging into my complex brain... a brain that's much deeper than most trying to be sure I don't freak you out with my philosophical nerdy way of thinking. My earphones are on... yes, I am a creature of habitual behavior and when I find my happy zones I tend to make them repetitive... hence the earphones with classical piano as I write. (It's a winner!)

What does that word truly mean? Is it simply a momentary internal feeling on the surface of our thoughts for something or someone; a moment in time that gives us "that feeling"? Or is it defined by a feeling that runs deep into our souls that we cannot get over even if we wanted to? Is it defined by an out-loud obvious action that we must demonstrate to show how we feel; or is it something that can be implied by small gestures or things we may do for someone without having to say a word?

In a world where people; (including myself at times) feel unappreciated, I think that this poses something to really think about, and what better time than the very week we are reminded to be thankful. The answer is as complex as any human emotion is as it truly depends on what a person needs to feel thankful and how much it takes for someone or something to feel appreciation from thankfulness. As I sit here typing whatever comes to my mind, I think of the things that help me know people are thankful for the things that I do, for the things that I say, type and share. I think about people in my life who have felt unappreciated by me at some time or another and how I can and have made sure they never feel that way again. I think of how much I have changed in the past several years, how my heart has been reborn and has been opened up to a whole new world now that I have shared the "not so good" times I have had in my life; raw and real and how I have found a way to be thankful for them more than any of the good times in my life... it makes me smile.

I never thought that I would ever be thankful for the bad things that have happened; for all the struggles, pain, hurt, sadness, confusion and disappointment that I have experienced. At times I am shocked that my heart did not grow cold and bitter. I also know that had my heart continued down the lonely, broken path it was once on, that I would not know what being thankful really means. I am now thankful for the hurt, the people that I lost unexpectedly, the hard times, the burdens and disappointments and even the anger that resulted from it all, because it taught me what I need and deserve in order to keep happiness in my life. It helped me not only to recognize, but to appreciate the many blessings that are right in front of my face and accept that the moments that smacked me down were all blessings in disguise presented to teach me what I did not want to relive. I know that if I want to stay true to who I am, I had to learn those lessons and now strive to allow only the blessings to bring out the emotions within me. Everything else just has to roll... I know that every painful, hurtful, confused moment is there for a good reason and I hope you get to that point too.

I hope that all of you have a wonderful day of thanks with your family and friends. I encourage you to sit, if only for a few moments alone and think about all of the things you can be thankful for. Be sure that you dig deep into those bad things that when you are honest with yourself, you can truly say taught you something... hopefully it will be something that will allow you to let go of bottled up anger or pain. We carry around a lot of baggage from our past, we don't always let go of the things that have torn at our flesh, but once we let go and begin to heal, something happens. Sure... I still get disappointed, I still experience pain, sadness, confusion and hurt... but what I have realized is that if I can immediately find a reason to be thankful for what is happening anger never sets in... peace does.

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