I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
In two days the USA will celebrate its annual Thanksgiving holiday. For most Americans it’s an important celebration, and the prelude to the December holiday season.
Thanksgiving, as the name indicates, is about giving thanks for all the blessings we have in our lives. Leaders, political and religious, urge us to be grateful for the good we enjoy, usually things such as our health, homes, families, friends, jobs, etc.
I’m all in favor of being grateful for our blessings. Too often we forget about the good and focus only on the “bad” stuff. So Thanksgiving is a great reminder that we all have much to be thankful for, no matter what our circumstances.
But this year I’d like to shift the focus of Thanksgiving a bit to what I consider the greatest blessing of all.
Have you ever thought about being thankful, at Thanksgiving or any time of year, for you? Do you take time to be grateful for who you are, for the gift you are to yourselves and to others? Do you take time to truly appreciate and love yourselves?
I know I don’t always.
Friends, this is one of the biggest “flaws” we see in humans. It’s not really a flaw, certainly not a fatal flaw. But it is a huge block to living the life of your dreams.
If you do not truly and deeply love yourselves you will never find it easy to love and appreciate others. You will find it difficult to love and appreciate any aspect of your lives. You may have moments of happiness, even bliss. But you will not find lasting happiness until you get your priorities straight.
What is your top and first priority? You! Period!
We know your society does not promote putting yourselves first. After all that’s selfish. But selfish is good!
Until you tend to yourselves first you cannot do or be what you’d like to for others. Want to be of service to others? Then be of service to yourselves first.
We know many of you are uncomfortable with being loving and kind to yourselves. So we have a few suggestions to help you remove that block and move into a happier more fulfilling life.
Every morning when you first awaken spend a few seconds in front of a mirror. Look deeply into your own eyes and say “I love you, (your name).”
That may feel uncomfortable and even phony to you at first. But continue doing it every day. Soon it will feel normal and natural. You will feel the warmth and wonder of your love and appreciation for yourselves.
It takes only a few seconds a day. But the rewards you reap will be huge. You will literally transform your lives with this simple exercise. You will learn to deeply love and appreciate you — the divine beings you all are. You will learn to deeply love and appreciate all others, all that is.
You are God. It’s time to start seeing yourselves through the eyes of God, through your own eyes.
Then you will know the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Copyright © 2009 by John Cali, revised 2016
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In this powerful TED Talks video legendary filmmaker Louis Schwartzberg shows us how much we have to be grateful for—things most of us take for granted.
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