Thanksgiving is a time for reflection to honor all that we are thankful for. It's time for us to come together in the name of love for family, community, and our divine spirit. Our gratitude can inspire us to be generous with our hearts, our forgiveness, and our respect for each other.
The miracle is this - the more we share, the more we have.
Most of us in recovery have felt a sense of loss, lost youth, lost relationships and lost opportunities. Even though a lot of stuff happened to us, something inside us has to shift and we need to fully let go. Otherwise we are still chained to the past. In moving forward we can let go of expectations. They can be like dragging around a big bag of rocks. Things happen in our lives that are good, bad or otherwise. Our challenges arise when we give them meaning. We create all kinds of stories around the stuff that happens- what it means about us, others, our relationships, our status and so on. These stories weigh us down and create stress and discomfort and eventually dis-ease. If we let go of thefeeling of “ this should not be happening this way”, we can become more balanced and light in place of living in a constant state of frustration.
There are many gifts that can come from disappointments if we are open to them.
One such gift is the ability to help others. Having felt anger, guilt, and sorrow, we are better able to identify the same feelings in others. We can be more tolerant of others and have compassion for those with similar hurts. And, if we overcome the pain of our own disappointments, we can share the attitudes and actions that helped us grow from those hurts.
Another gift is forgiveness. When we do not deny our pain - and make a concerted effort to work through our feelings of anger, rejection, and guilt - we gain a better perspective of ourselves and a better understanding of others. We become aware of our deepest desires and needs, our deepest insecurities and fears, our weaknesses and our strengths. When we can accept and understand our imperfect natures, we can accept the imperfections and growing pains of others.
We can ask ourselves the question: what do I need to take my attention off of and what do I need to put my attention on?
We can cultivate a generous spirit by reminding ourselves that we have enough. We have enough to live well, we are surrounded by love, we have been forgiven for many wrongs that we committed, and we have a chance to start over. True forgiveness of ourselves involves rising above the past and leaving it behind.. When we share from this sense of abundance, our feeling of well-being only grows. From this wisdom, we can set these intentions:
Today I will use my disappointments as gifts to better understand myself as well as others. I will try to help others overcome their hurts by sharing my struggles and victories with them.
Today I will be generous and sharing toward the other people I come into contact with and forgive as I move forward. I will take ownership of my life as it is right now, not tomorrow, not next week, but today.
Can we be calm in the midst of the storm? We don't have to accept all of the chaos that is happening in our world right now, but our inner wisdom in the present moment will guide us in knowing what we have control over and what we don't. We can experience peace by being grateful for all that we have today.
Join us for a peaceful practice of gratitude Thursday, Nov. 17, at Namaspa, 7pm