As Thanksgiving approaches, we generally begin to think about all the wonderful things in our lives—our blessings, and we are often advised to count these gifts. This is supposed to help us appreciate how good life is. But in 2019, we are caught up in this fast-paced, stress-filled, chaotic life where people are chasing money, power, and success. So are we forgetting to appreciate what we have?
Maybe counting our blessings isn’t enough? Surely we could all quickly rattle off many blessings, but did that actually accomplish a deep sense of gratitude? If you’re like me, it gave you a fleeting moment of thankfulness, but then you expeditiously returned to what needed to be completed, fixed, or accomplished. My mind silently said, “That’s great, but…”. How can we change this?
Let’s make a list of our blessings and circle 1 or 2 of the blessings for which we are profoundly grateful. Now let’s answer, “Why?” Why is this a blessing? What emotion does this conjure up? We can also ask ourselves, “What is the opposite of this blessing?” What we have is as important as what we don’t have. Knowing why it’s a blessing and what it could otherwise look like is a really good way to sink deeply into the warm embrace of true gratitude. Let’s try counting our blessings this way, it’s a whole lot different than the old way.