Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wanting What You Have

It seems to me with Thanksgiving around the corner that it is crucial to our happiness to count our blessings and want what we have. Much of life satisfaction is in knowing when you have something wonderful----and expressing and feeling your appreciation for it, as opposed to taking it for granted. Sometimes we need to be gently reminded to focus on the goodness of the people and things we love in our life.

Do you have a devoted partner who loves you despite your imperfections? Let them know what they add to your life, and that you deeply value sharing your life with them. Speak only well of them to others. If you have a problem between you, speak to your partner directly about it, and ask them for what would work better. Demonstrate your faithfulness, caring, and love for them. Carl Jung wrote about the masks we all wear to the world. Often it is our partner and family at home that people give the least thought to or treat poorly. That's just wrong and wasteful. Give your partner your very best.

Are you grateful for your work? Does it provide stable income? Does it allow you to raise your family? Especially in the current economy, we need to feel grateful for the blessing and purpose that work provides.

Do you value your health? Can you walk? Exercise? Do you gratefully care for your health? Without our health, not much else matters. Show your gratefulness for your physical health by taking good care of your body.

Are you thankful for a close friend, or two? Do you make time to stay in touch, and spend time together when you can? Do they know how you feel about them? Friends provide us with support and a sounding board, and become even more valuable the longer we know them.

Are you appreciative of where you live, the community that is available to you, and the neighbors you have? Show your gratefulness by reaching out to someone who is alone or hurting this holiday season. The whole holiday season is often difficult for people who have experienced a loss of some kind this year, whether through a death, a break-up o divorce, or a job loss.

Do you treasure your children and grandchildren, if you are fortunate enough to have them? If your parents and grandparents are still living, do you often express what they mean to you, and what they have taught you? Do you offer them opportunities to share stories and reflections with you? Time together sharing stories often means more to seniors than stuff.

Life's richness is lost on people who always want something else or something more. Often in quiet, unspoken places in your life there are silent blessings that deserve your awareness and mindfulness. Wherever you go, there you are, as the saying goes. Cultivating a heightened sense of gratefulness causes us to stay focused on the richness of everyday blessings, and not get confused that happiness is OUT THERE somewhere, when it is all around us.

Here's wishing you and yours the true spirit of Thanksgiving this week, and as we wind our way into December.

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