Being thankful is an exercise in acceptance

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Whether you’re eating Turkey or tofu, we hope you’re with people you love and appreciate. In addition, we hope you take a minute to remember the things you’re thankful for.
Most of our major national holidays are celebrated with family and friends, but Thanksgiving is unique in so far as we are called to remember all the things that are going well in our lives.
Everyone has problems of some sort. Whether they’re major problems or minor issues, problems are similar in that they are usually found at the front of our thoughts, all day, every day. Perhaps this is as it should be. The good stuff in our everyday lives, our spouses, our kids, our jobs, these things can be as easy to overlook as the air we breathe. It is their sudden absence that we consider to be a tragedy.
But today, take a minute to think about what we each have that’s good in life.
To be honest, it is silly to pretend big, serious problems will always get better. The older we get, the more we all realize certain problems cannot work themselves out and, the worst part is, quite often, big problems are not our fault. Big problems can simply happen.
The trick is not to ignore or diminish the severity of the big stuff; the trick is to accept it, and acceptance of the bad is easier with an eye on the positive. Acceptance is easier when we’re thankful. Being thankful is not the same as being worry-free or in denial, but if we spend part of our waking life concentrating on the positive, then bigger problems tend to seem more manageable.
The Mayo Clinic reports more positive thinking helps lower stress, it lowers rates of depression, helps the heart and can lead to a longer life. The clinic also reports that researchers have no idea why this should be so, but it is.
With all that in mind, we want to remind you, our readers, to take a minute today and think about something good in your life. And for that matter, maybe take a minute each day after that, too.

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