Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.Melody Beattie
Top 5 things to be Thankful for in 2021
#5 – Thankful for the transparency of thoughts
More than anytime in history, the challenges of the pandemic exposed the hearts and minds of the people around us. Their thoughts, motives, and beliefs, were put on full display with technology amplified transparency. From power hungry politicians, radical rioters, and fear mongering mobs, all forms of media engaged to give us a glimpse of the darkness of thoughts surrounding us that were previously only visible by God. Ideals became peoples identity, common fears defined friendships, and we all struggled to rethink and reset the world around us, burdened by knowing the thoughts of our neighbors. I am thankful for the vision gained by examining my own thoughts and beliefs, having the transparency into the minds and motives of those around me, and the opportunity to realign my stance in what ever the ‘new normal’ becomes.
#4 – Thankful for the division in our discourse
The divisiveness in our daily discourse over the past year has shown us the vast chasm that exists in our growing diversity. Rich and poor, black and white, left or right, the loudest voices of extremism shouted their views across the canyon that divides us. The irrationality of the debates echoing down the canyon walls, exposed the reality that the majority is in the middle, trying to live their life in the valley without conforming nor confronting the shouts of extreme. I am thankful for the realization that the problems that face all of us are complex and cannot be solved by exclusionary ideals of either extreme. I am also hopeful that the lessons learned will lead to a renewed sense of inclusion and empathy that enables us to peacefully solve the challenges we face and close the chasm that distances us from one another.
#3 – Thankful for finding mindfulness in the mayhem
Our mental health was challenged in the pandemic mayhem on all fronts. Fear, anger, grief, despair, and sadness dampened our enthusiasm for life. The negative emotions hijacked our amygdala causing us to abandon reason and rationality, and making us ambivalent to life’s most important matters. In our isolation we either clung desperately to stay connected to the outward chaos, or turned our focus inward to repel the hijacking emotions, take control of our minds, and save our sanity. In the midst of the mayhem, many found the importance of mindfulness and renewed both their mind and their spirit. I am thankful for the restored awareness of the significance of our mental well being, the removed stigma that caused our superficial facade, and the reassuring vulnerability to share our struggles safely with others.
#2- Thankful for new perceptions of our priorities
Pre-pandemic, the anxiety of our ambitions fueled our busy lives and emptied our capacity to be present In the moments that mattered most. The pandemic hit the pause button long enough to change our perception of the priorities driving our daily exhaustion. Our hearts were healed from the toxins of time consuming busyness that prevented meaningful connections. We examined a life worthy of living, and changed our jobs, relationships, and habits, to write new chapters in our story, realizing the uncertainty of when our book will end. I am thankful for the great pause in our life and the new perceptions that shift our success gear from ‘achieve and acquire’ to ‘believe and inspire’.
#1- Thankful for opportunities found in our obstacles
Life is a constant evolution between chaos and order. Chaos fuels the demand for change. We can either be the immovable obstacle that resists the change and watch the world flow by us or we can embrace it and realize the opportunities found in every obstacle. The last year and a half have presented so many obstacles that the opportunities for growth are limitless. It may be hard to see if our focus is on the losses we encountered, but we have received a gift for which we should be grateful. Our world revolves on the power of opposite forces. From the hate we can grow our capacity to love, from the division we can find unity, from the mayhem we can define new meaning, and when we change our perceptions we gain the power to solve any problem. I am thankful for the obstacles in my life and the endless opportunities to grow from each encounter.