During this season of thanks, it’s easy to be thankful when all is well. When family and friends are healthy and safe. When business is going as usual and job security seems real. When daily life has its bumps but is not a constant uphill battle.
But, what happens when things aren’t going well? When a family member is ill or not safe? When there is a layoff or threat of one? When life’s bumps seem to keep coming so fast, it’s hard to face the next one?
Having been in the “two family members not well” camp a bit this month, I found myself emotionally challenged to fight through some negativity. It’s a foreign feeling for me as I take pride in approaching problems as things to solve. But, when health is not a given, character is tested.
I have to be honest. I got stuck a bit and allowed my lexicon to change. Instead of using language that was benign, I found myself using heavily-weighted words. I was not “tired”, I was “exhausted.” Instead of being “grateful”, I was “relieved.” Instead of being “miffed”, I was “irate.”
And after a few days of using those words, I was bumping into other negative folks as well as negative situations. (It’s incredible how negativity begets negativity — right?)
Then, my wonderful husband and best friend called me on it. After one particular long day, I texted him a rather pitiful rant about the situation. He jotted me a kind note with a pointed message: “Take the good moments and leave the rest.”
The next morning, I knew something had to change. And at that moment, it was not going to be family members’ health issues. Instead, the shift had to come from my core. So, after some prayers and a good cup of hot tea, I promised myself I would reinvest in the simple but potent belief that it is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.
May this season remind us all to be thankful AND happy — even when things are not easy.
Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.