I hope you’re reading this with the smell of turkey and pumpkin pie in the air. Thanksgiving is one of the things I am thankful for, because it gives us an opportunity to consider everything we have that inspires an attitude of gratitude.
Everyone is different, and the reality is that some of our tendency to be naturally positive or negative is simply an inborn, unchangeable part of who we are. However, we also found that almost half of the influence comes from what we choose to do. I am thankful for that, because it means we can all intentionally find things to be grateful for and improve our outlook on life.
I came across this list of blessings on the web, and though you may have seen it, it bears repeating at this time of year.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who won’t survive the week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of two million people around the world.
If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than almost three billion people in the world.
If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read anything at all.
You are so blessed in ways you may never even know
By Stephen Eardley
I have not researched the statistics above and don’t claim to be an expert in world economics, but I appreciate the perspective this gives us, especially when we are so easily upset by daily hassles like misbehaving children, slow internet, or cold food in a restaurant. It’s all about perspective.
However, the sixth point Stephen Eardley made strikes at the heart of what some of my clients struggle with. Some have become embittered by years of poor relationships or inadequate coping skills and need some help putting their circumstances in perspective. They need to learn better techniques for communicating and resolving conflict. Some others are experiencing clinical depression, which effectively blinds them to the hope, optimism and joy life has to offer. Both are manageable with the proper intervention strategies.
If you’re struggling with a situation or condition that robs you of the ability to be grateful, please find a friend, pastor, or professional counselor to talk to. And even if you’re not experiencing problems right now, I like to suggest to my clients that they make a list of the things they’re grateful for and review it first thing in the morning and just before they go to sleep. It is a practical, easy way to count your blessings and give you an attitude of gratitude this Thanksgiving, and all through the year!
Live, Work and Relate Well!