This week: On Gratitude Edited by: Kitti
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|What are you thankful for? Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, it helps to think of all the good in our lives.|
This week's Spiritual Newsletter, then, is all about being thankful for what we have, even when times are difficult.
|What are you thankful for? Where I live we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but it isn’t a bad question to ask myself. Sometimes, when I feel down about my life, it’s helpful to spend some time on all that’s actually going well.|
I used to think it was a bit of a silly recommendation to write down what we’re thankful for. There I was, going through some nasty stuff, and then you’re supposed to make a list like that? I didn’t see how it could possibly make a difference. Sure, I had a roof over my head and food on the table, but that didn’t make the bad thing go away. It didn’t make my struggles any easier. I believed it to be one of those things people tell you to do when they don’t really know how to help you. I have since thought about it some more, however, and the recommendation is not without merit.
It’s true that thinking about the good things in your life doesn’t make the bad things go away, but it can help ease one’s mind, and help one approach a problem from a different angle. For example, when I think about what I consider to be the basics of my life – having a roof over my head, having food on my table, having people who love me – it makes me realise how what we tend to take for granted is actually very important. It’s not a given that we have these things – there are those who don’t. I am fortunate enough to have that stability, and that support network, and having people who care about me means that I have people to turn to when I need them. The next step is to allow them to be there for me. Having multiple people look at a problem can bring new solutions or, if not, it at least means that I don’t have to face the problem on my own.
Of course, there isn’t always anything that any of us can do. When this newsletter is released, my mother will be in the hospital, undergoing surgery. The surgery will last 4+ hours and involve the use of robotic arms. It’s my mom’s 25th surgery – she has suffered a lot, especially the last few years in the aftermath of cancer – and she’s already been warned that the days after will be exceptionally painful. I cannot do anything to help my mom but pray. Neither can my family, nor my friends. It may seem, then, that there is little to be thankful for… yet I am thankful. I am thankful for the medical advances that make this surgery possible. I am thankful that the surgeon is confident that this surgery should greatly enhance my mother’s quality of life, once she’s recovered. I am grateful that despite everything my mom has gone through, she’s still with us, and she’s not given up on a better future. So, even when I am worried, because every surgery comes with a certain amount of risk and this is a complex procedure, there is hope. There are things to look forward to. And I am not alone in praying for my mom’s health and recovery (if you want to join in, the more, the merrier).
I am thankful each and every day for my wonderful husband. He’s such a good man, and he loves me just the way that I am. It seemed impossible to find the right person, but I have (or he’s found me), and I hope that we have many happy years ahead together.
I am thankful for my cats. For living in a beautiful part of the world. For having shelves filled with books – some of them written by people on this site – and for being surrounded by things that I love and that mean something to me. I am thankful for having been able to write stories and poems, newsletters and articles, and for every bit of feedback that I have received because positive or negative, it’s helped me improve as a writer.
I am, then, also thankful for this website and the opportunities it’s offered me. I am thankful for our writing community. And I am thankful for you, who’s read all the way to the end of this newsletter editorial. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, I hope that you, too, have a lot to be thankful for.
Until next time,
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Wishing you a week filled with inspiration,
The Spiritual Newsletter Team
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