Give Thanks, or Else

Thanksgiving, a time for giving thanks, for gathering together, for smiling and saying what we appreciate and are thankful for in our lives. A time when any other energy doesn't seem to have a home. 

What happens when you aren't feeling thankful? What happens when we think about all the things we aren't thankful for such as flooding in India, attacks on Paris, or school lock down drills?

Where does all that stuff go? What do we do with it all? Do we hush up and don't mention it? Do we bring it up and spark conversation, albeit controversial at times for the sake of saying hello to it? Do we ignore it all and hope one day it will go away? Do we continue blissfully unaware in our own bubble?

What about the personal stuff? We all have it. The things we would rather do without - the family dramas about where to spend the holidays, the stressful financial picture going into the holidays, or the work demands that magnify in the midst of everyone wanting to take time off, not to mention the sadness around missing a loved one, coping with illness or pain, or family break ups creating uncertainty. 

The "stuff" is all around us, all the time. 

So what do we do with the "stuff" for which we aren't exactly thankful? Is there a "somewhat appreciative of certain aspects of something" box we can check?

Can you tell I'm stalling? Because I do not have the answer.

My go to is to look at the energy (of everything - that's how I problem solve). I do my best to find the "good" in all situations while also acknowledging that there are times when it isn't about finding the "positive," looking on the bright side, or stating "it all happens for a reason." There are times when it is about sitting in the mud, recognizing the things that are not exactly making us do the appreciation dance, that don't have us on our knees thanking our lucky stars. It's okay to sit in the un-thankful, un-appreciative camp for a few minutes. Ride it out. Say hello to it. And be okay with the fact that some things, although they are part of our journey, our tapestry, they may not always be the things that make us feel all gooey and thankful inside.

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. Perhaps it is also about being honest about the things we don't feel so thankful for, the disappointments, the hurts, and maybe, in that honesty comes healing, compassion, and space for more appreciation. And yes, giving thanks.

As we do.