When I don’t express my gratitude in any given situation, it’s not because I can’t. I’m never forcibly prohibited from thankfulness. It’s a choice. I used to tell myself that I couldn’t be thankful during the bad times. Whether because I feel like it’s not fair, it’s not just, or it’s not kind. Or I tell myself that I’m not glad this is happening. So what?
I don’t HAVE to NOT be thankful. So when I’m not, it’s because I choose to not be. And since thankfulness is ALWAYS within my power,
I can choose to thank God…
for my life
for my children
for my wife
for my home
for the air I breathe
for the sun
for the warmth
for the trees
for the gentle breeze
for food to eat
for earth to touch with my bare feet
for coffee and football and simple pleasures
for stories and songs I’ll always treasure
for journals and podcasts and simple truths
for snuggles and giggles and the joys of youth
There is no limit to the things I can choose to be thankful for.
It’s up to me.
Here’s the Dansplaining Version
We often choose to not express thankfulness for a reason. We look to what’s happened and blame our unthankful behavior on that event. Lost a job, lost a lover, lost a friend, publicly embarrassed, can’t afford to buy things, feeling ashamed, feeling depressed, feeling overwhelmed… Whatever it is, we point to that feeling or event as the reason why we are not grateful. Because we’ve made a critical mistake in our calculations about thankfulness.
Thankfulness is not the result of happiness. Happiness is its own temporary delight. It motivates us to say “thank you”, but it is not in and of itself thankfulness. So when we don’t feel automatically propelled to say thank you, we opt out. As though being compelled is the only excuse for expressing light and goodness into the world!
Far better to project light and goodness and gratitude into the universe when things are dark. That act begins to change the darkness into light. If the light inside you outshines the dark outside you, darkness has lost. And when you choose to speak thankfulness in the dark times, you agree to becoming a channel or conduit of light allowing light to dispel darkness.