Thanksgiving marks the first day of the Christmas season which then makes people reminisce of the good times with family and friends. Some people become nostalgic and others may become depressed because the holidays have not been kind. Believe it or not, some people dread listening to Bing Crosby’s Christmas songs or Elvis Presley’s rendition of Blue Christmas; not even the Grinch can bring a smile to some people’s faces because of the holidays had brought trauma and sadness to their lives. Why do people carry such sadness with them for so many years?
The people they are mourning are the same people who loved them and who brought sunshine to their lives. So why should these beloved people who brought light into people’s lives, now bring gloom and grief? Because of regret and not showing their gratitude and appreciation for that person while they were alive. Showing appreciation does not come wrapped under a Christmas tree either; it comes from your heart and from your mouth.
Your homework assignment is to sit down at the Thanksgiving table and before you stab your yams and your stuffing with your fork, think about who was with you 10 years ago, and then think about who is with you now. I bet that you were not as grateful 10 years ago when there were more people to hug and to appreciate. I challenge you to appreciate everyone who you see today at your table, whether it is spoken aloud or in silence, and say, “I honor and appreciate you in every way, thank you for being part of my life.”
Why does it make people uncomfortable to verbally appreciate another loved one out loud? People can swear and curse, scream and yell, and even shove and push around people we care so much about, but why does it make some people squirm to say, “I truly appreciate you and thank you for being in my life.”
November is also gratitude month and I have heard and read many daily words of gratitude from several different people since the beginning of November. Mostly people appreciated the small everyday things that happened that day, but try something different from this point on until the rest of this year – show gratitude for every person who is still alive today who has been part of your whole life. Can you do it?
Think of your favorite and most influential teacher in high school, your mom, dad, Uncle, cousin, best friend, sister, brother, or even someone who was almost-family or even a step-relative. Family makes up such a vast composite of people these days. Family doesn’t even mean blood related anymore; family is defined as bonded relationships that unconditionally reinforce and love each other every day without fail.
Being present and showing gratitude and authentic love to the people we love and admire is what holistic health is all about. Holistic means whole body. We must appreciate and consider the wholeness of who is in our lives. Embrace our family and friends who keep us in their forethoughts and in their lives before there is no more life to embrace.
At the end of the day, the lives we live aren’t about the television that was bought at a Black Friday sale or a new car or the diamond earrings your husband gave you, or even a high salaried job – it’s about telling the people in our lives how much they mean to us. It’s about words and actions, not a material gift.