An elderly man in Phoenix calls his son in New York and says, “I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.”
“Pop, what are you talking about?” the son screams.
“We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,” the old man says “We’re sick of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her,” and he hangs up.
Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. “Like hell they’re getting divorced,” she shouts, “I’ll take care of this.” She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at the old man, “You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?” and hangs up.
The old man hangs up his phone, too, and turns to his wife. “Okay,” he says, “they’re coming for Thanksgiving. Now what do we tell them for Christmas?”
Why is Thanksgiving such a hassle for some? We all have those “SERIOUSLY? This is happening to me?!” moments, especially for some reason around Thanksgiving. What is it about Thanksgiving that has the tendency to bring out the “crazy”? How do we find our way to gratitude in spite of, and perhaps because of, seeming cosmic injustice or family strife or those little life calamities…? How do we curb these feelings over this Thanksgiving period, and life in general? Appreciation, obviously! Here’s how…
Kabbalists teach that one of the biggest mistakes every one of us makes consistently is that we don’t have awareness or an appreciation of who we are, and our potential power. The reason many of us fall short in manifesting the amazing things that we can do is because we don’t have a true understanding of who we really are, and an appreciation for the true power we possess.
Let me put it to you another way… some food for thought.
Think about how many different people you encounter every single day… gas station attendants, baristas, waiters, shop keepers, artists, politicians, some of us even encounter people of royalty, celebrities, personal trainers and dog walkers. You get the idea. We meet people from all walks of life, and yet we all have a tendency to appoint importance on the people we meet; we label them, we may even just put them down as a number – just another person who crossed our path today. Think how easy it is to underestimate people and not see or appreciate their unique gifts on any given day. Here’s the kicker… WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES, TOO. We lump ourselves into a group, where we are just a number, and we don’t see our true value, power and essence.
The greatest failing that we have is that we do not have an appreciation for what our soul is, and therefore for what we can accomplish. It’s hard to appreciate ourselves, but the good news is the moment we can see and acknowledge how far we are from appreciation that’s the first step toward having it. And it begins with an appreciation for the fact that whatever you think about yourself, whatever you think you have accomplished, and also whatever you think that you can accomplish, is not even 1 of 1000 of what you can do! You are not one of a group. You are not 1 of 10; you are not 1 of 100. You are just you, and there’s no one like you.
Do any of us really see that about ourselves? Do we really have any conception of how much influence we actually have in this world?
The truth is the degree to which we do not appreciate our own greatness, and see the influence that we have, is the degree to which we do not have that influence.
If you want to attract encouraging and uplifting things into your life then show your love, appreciation and gratitude for the people and things around you. Become a thoughtful magnet of positivity. Put an end to dead-end words like, “no”, “don’t”, “can’t” and “should have.” Eradicate the negative thoughts and words from your daily life, because when you do, things will start to change.
The truth is, we don’t truly appreciate the power of our actions; spiritual or day-to-day, and it’s time we start. Appreciate the moment, the people you are with, and the things you have and are experiencing right now. We all have the tendency to take things for granted. We lose appreciation for what we already have—for what the Light has brought us—and we focus on what we don’t have. Far too often we place our attention on our lack, and what we don’t realize is the most important awareness we need to have – in order to draw miracles into our lives – we need appreciation. All too often we do not appreciate things until they are gone. Don’t let that happen.
Act with intention; it is not enough to simply feel appreciation. Take action. Do something every day with the intention to appreciate what you have, and this will help steer you away from negative thinking and dwelling on the have-nots, and it will also help you become more proactive in awakening more blessings in your life. By being busy with what is going right in your life, you can’t be busy with what isn’t.
We all deserve to be fulfilled and happy, and the truth is, when you can authentically love yourself, you can accomplish anything! Truly loving yourself is an unconditional process, which allows you to accept, celebrate and appreciate all you are, both light and shadow, completely and authentically, and it gives you the room and permission you need to alter the things about yourself that don’t serve you. There is no need to judge or berate yourself for things you find unappealing about yourself. That kind of negative thinking only draws more focus to the flaws.
How can we expect to change if we don’t come from a place of loving ourselves enough to? When we hate who we are, or how we look, or how we think, it’s hard to change. But when we love ourselves, we can change and grow in love. Release the negative thoughts and feelings you have about yourself; don’t keep them a secret, secrets only grow bigger and stronger in the dark – they’re like vampires. But the minute they’re released and exposed to the Light, sure there’s a moment of horror, of recognition, but then * poof! *, they lose their power over you!
People sit in my office all the time expressing how much they hate themselves, or feel shame about things they have done, and the second they see my reaction, which is never shock and always a supportive one, it gives them permission to forgive themselves for the choices they made and for what they have not yet become, and start over on their journey of self-love, every day.
Practice makes perfect, and honestly it’s the practice and expression of appreciation that has the most impact on our lives. In counseling couples, sometimes at the end of a very long day, I will turn to my husband and tell him how truly grateful I am for all he is, all that he gives me and for making this life journey so worthwhile. And in practicing my self-gratitude, I give myself a little pat on the back for so wisely choosing such a great life partner. It works both ways; in appreciating our loved ones, it confirms our own appreciation and love for ourselves.
THOUGHT TO ACTION:
Clean out your closet, bag your leftovers and share. Give what you don’t need and appreciate what you do!