I have so many fond memories of Thanksgiving from my childhood. For the most part, no one had to tell me to be happy or thankful back then; I just was. I could find joy in the simplest and the silliest of things. I think that was the case for most of us.
Remember finding shapes in the clouds? How about catching lightning bugs or playing with roly polies in the summer? It didn’t take much for me to be happy and thankful when I was a child. I didn’t care that I didn’t have a nice play house. I drew myself a fabulous mansion on the dirt road in front of my house. When a car would drive over it and erase a few walls along with my furniture, I’d see it as an opportunity to remodel and had a new house in no time. I was unflappable!
“Every day, I like to wake up and remind myself to be grateful for the simple things.” Miranda Kerr
Most children are unflappable. Their resilience is refreshing. The next time your small child or grandchild gets upset, notice how quickly they forget the offense, forgive the offender, and are happily enjoying another activity, usually with the person who upset them only moments before. They are a great reminder to us all that we too can shake off the unpleasantness of life and move forward to find greater happiness.
“To be more childlike, you don’t have to give up being an adult. The fully integrated person is capable of being both an adult and a child simultaneously. Recapture the childlike feelings of wide-eyed excitement, spontaneous appreciation, cutting loose, and being full of awe and wonder at this magnificent universe.” Dr. Wayne Dyer
We must keep moving forward. Life has many ups and downs, and sometimes we forget how resilient we are. We forget that when life knocks us down, we don’t have to remain in the dirt of despair. We can choose to forgive and forget the unfairness and ugliness we’ve encountered. The best way I know to cleanse our minds and hearts when they have become soiled with bitterness, discouragement, or despair is to cultivate the habit of living in thanksgiving daily.
“When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in.” Kristin Armstrong
As soon as our feet hit the floor in the morning, we should begin the day by naming the things we are thankful for, and as we do, we’ll find our resiliency returning. Our gratitude shouldn’t end there. We should continue to practice gratitude throughout our day. The more we center our minds on gratitude, the more happiness we will have and the better we will be able to face life’s challenges and disappointments. If we want a life full of happiness, every day should be a day of thanksgiving.
I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving, but more than that, I wish for you to find joy in living every other day of the year as well. I send you love and hope you enjoy your time with your families this week. Remember, gratitude = joy.