Thanking sometimes is just effortless. It is simple to give thanks when things are going our way…when life is good…when people are friendly…when the job or career is smoothly providing us the accolades or financial rewards we deserve…when our families show unconditional love…when even the weather cooperates.
It is much harder to give thanks when life takes a different turn…when burdens keep piling up…when we find that what we thought would happen did not…when life just placed an obstacle in our path…when life became tough and almost impossible to bear…when co-workers complained about our performance or our boss chastised us for something we felt unfair…when we didn’t get the promotion we believed would be offered us but someone in our office with less experience did…when our families fail or forsake us…and when even the weather turns foul and wicked.
However, when it is most difficult to give thanks, I say be mindful about thanking even in the hardest hours. We can choose to live in the past, the present, or the future. If we live in the past, we rehash all the things we “should have,” “could have,” “ought to have” done. It is almost impossible to be mindful about thanking if we live with past mistakes or accomplishments. And, if we try to focus on our future—the tomorrows of our life, we tend to worry about what is coming our way. Again, it is difficult to offer thanks when we are stressing out or worrying about tomorrow.
So, I am suggesting that we focus on the present…our today…giving thanks in all things…being mindful about thanking…choosing a different perspective when our burdens, our obstacles, and even the weather appears to make life hard. Be grateful…be thankful for this very moment. You will not have it ever again. Be mindfully and thankfully present…looking at life and what the present obstacles are teaching you. Learn from them. There is an opportunity here; find it! There may even be a gift in this difficult hour.
It’s not easy to thank when times are tough this but it is not impossible. It just takes practice.
Be mindfully thankful each day not only during the season of Thanksgiving or when things are perfect. If you practice being grateful, you will see the world differently. I guarantee you will enjoy the fruits or benefits of grateful living.