Thanksgiving is a warm, rewarding and life affirming part of American culture, important because it unites diverse elements of society in the act of giving thanks for what we have. There are no presents. Few direct marketing campaigns. Mostly, we watch football and our families get together.
Of all the holidays, it is arguably the purest and most humanizing.
Being thankful and showing gratitude for the things we have provides us with an opportunity to show others why they matter, and the simple act of being thankful fills each of us the goo that makes us human.
One thing is clear, it’s easy to be thankful when things are going well for you; when you’re surrounded by a loving family, when life is predictable and sane; and when you have goals that you are able to work towards.
It is, on the other hand, much harder to be thankful when you’ve been thrown a curveball; when you have had your life interrupted by an event or series of events that turns your world upside down, redefines you and your relationships, and makes it impossible to live the life you once thought was in your grasp.
Such is life for many of us after TBI.
Being thankful for a chain of events which, you may feel, has robbed you of your future and replaced it with a life you can’t comprehend, may go against everything you think is right, but we owe it to ourselves to make the attempt.
Why do we need to make an attempt to be thankful?
As I said before, thankfulness is humanizing and nourishing, and ultimately, feeling thankful and showing gratitude will make our life richer. By looking for the good as you live your life, you will open up to new possibilities, create a positive attitude, and will help build a fulfilled, loving person.
Some of us who have experienced a TBI might wonder how it is even possible for us to be thankful for anything. The road is tough and it is painful, but we are selling ourselves short if we don’t try. Looking for the good in life is a way to not get stuck in the negative or be completely overwhelmed by things that are out of our control. Looking for the good is a way of dealing powerfully with the present, in a way that enables you to create a future.
The recognition that being thankful is important leads to us to live a life of gratitude, where we are not controlled by our brain injury, but we live in the positive, and don’t make ourselves and our “situation” as much of the focus.
Being thankful also leads to you wanting to share your thankfulness by being generous, and being a generous human being always comes back to you in unforeseen and splendid ways.
This Thanksgiving, look for the things to be thankful for; those things that make you feel good and give you a reason to live. I bet they are there, even if you don’t see them right away. I’ll wager that being able to recognize them for what they are will provide you with the goo you need to help give you one of the best Thanksgivings ever.
Strive for gratitude. Achieve thankfulness. Reclaim your humanity.
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