Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks in Unexpected Places

Ahhhhhh….Thanksgiving day…A day of reflection…or not. It does surprise me that there truly are so many people whose reflection on this day, on their life, goes only as deep as a quick blessing at the dinner table. And for some, maybe not even that. Sad, yet true.

And then there are people, possibly like us. Who over do or thanks-giving by wanting to talk about it all….day….long….=)…Believe it or not we might even become a little boring to those around us!!!…

In the possibility though of becoming boring, I move forward today in thanks. GREAT thanks. AMAZING gratitude for all that I am, have, and expereince daily.

Last Sunday I was invited to give the sermon again at the First Church of Religious Science in Cape Coral, Florida. I spoke about the Three Dimensions of gratitude…..of giving thanks, consciously and yes even in writing, for three distinctively different areas of our lives. First, for those people we absolutely love …Second, for the beautiful gifts we have personally been given…and last for the people we really do not like, or enjoy, from the past or who even may somehow still may be in our presence today in a small or big way.

Let’s begin by thanking those people in category 3…the former spouses we still do not like..the former boyfriends or girlfriends or friends who, when we think of them, get a little “sting” in our gut that could relate to anger, jealousy…or even the desire for revenge!!!….. Ahhhhh yes, THOSE type of people. Most of us , if we are honest, have one or two or even 10 people from our past or present that we do not care for, at least until now. Why? Because I believe they could be our greatest teachers in this moment if we do one simple thing…look for the gift they gave us at the time we were connected. By having gratitude for this gift, which means dropping our ego and looking for the truth in this relationship, we can free ourselves from the bondage of the past or even the present…and move forward with more energy, light and love. There is a beautiful saying…”Holding a resentment or grudge against someone else is like drinking a poison and hoping it will hurt them.”…smile, I’m laughing right now.

Now, that does’nt mean you have to forgive and accept someone back into your life who has hurt you immensely, but by looking for the gift they gave, and being thankful on this day for that gift, we move to a whole new level of existence.

I remember being hurt numerous times very deeply by someone I loved and at one point not really thinking I could release that pain. Have you ever experienced this? As I did the exercise I’m asking you to do today though, I was able to see what an amazing gift she brought into my life!!! One nite when we were together talking, she opened up and shared an amazing story of her struggle with alcohol , and with tears streaming down her face recalled the day she entered a treatment facility for this disease.

I was so moved that she shared this, because even though we had been dating for several months, I had never seen her cry,or go to this depth of emotion, and never imagined she had ever had a problem with alcohol. It was such an incredible evening that 2 days later I called and checked myself in to a 30 day treatment center for alcohol addiction, a move that may had never happened had I not met this angel on earth. So even after the pain that was caused during and after our breakup, I will ALWAYS,ALWAYS,ALWAYS be filled with gratitude, immense gratitude, for this person. In all likelihood, she easily could have been the gift that saved my life.

And now, how about you?? Take a moment and reflect today, or anyday, on thanking someone you may be struggling with, or struggled with in the past, for the gift that they brought into your life. Do this in writing right now. Everyone, regardless of how much drama and chaos they bring or have brought to you before….offers us a gift of growth. The deepest of thanks, the most immense form of gratitude, can only be found by looking for the “gem in these thorns”. I truly hope you’ll take a moment today and do this exercise, to free yourself, and them, from the ravages of our ego.

Be free, be joyous today on Thanksgiving, and celebrate the unexpected gifts that come from the unlikeliest of places. Love, David

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