I love this time of the year! I’ve expressed that probably every year around this time of the year, and yet it never really gets old for me. Even during my “dark years” when I literally couldn’t afford to make it back home to my blood relatives I found out that love was a verb when I reached out to people within my network who accepted me into their home so I wouldn’t be alone during the holidays.

But I am also very aware that this time of the year for many people are lonely, depressed, and even suicidal. There are plenty of useful tips for coping with holiday anxiety and depression dedicated for such a time. So, me, knowing the power of words and expression began trying to build a habit of finding things great and small to be thankful for. Some people have gratitude journals, some people have gratitude prayers they recite on a daily basis. I wasn’t at that point in my life where I had such a habit and ritual. I just knew that sometimes the best defense against feeling of loneliness, and bitterness, and the makings of depression is to go on the offense. Expressing Gratitude during the month we designated as Thanksgiving felt like a good place to start…and so start I did.

Everyone has Permission to start somewhere when it comes to developing a practice towards a more mindful life. You never know where one small act can take them…

I saw a meme on Facebook a few weeks back. It mocked anyone who rode the 30 days of Thankfulness truck after spending the other 335 days posting about anything but.

I got it. I really did. Somehow it reminded me about an ongoing joke in the church from my childhood memories where folks would talk about the flighty members of the CME church. Naturally I wanted to know about this group of people so I asked and I was told it meant people who only came to church on Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Easter. I got that too. I really did…But what I couldn’t wrap my mind around was why were people concerned about people who decided to do something different from what they normally did driven by the notion that what they were doing was something “good” and “right” and “positive”  if even for a moment or temporarily.  One small act of kindness or gesture by someone who is normally Scrooge McScrooge can save a life if done to the right person at the right time of their miserable day. Does it offset the damage done to those who were acquainted with Mr. McScrooge, of course not! But as long as there is an embodiment of hate and fear, there is need for someone to be love.

No, we don’t have to give out cookies and other rewards because someone decided to look at their day and find something in it to express gratitude about for a month. It’s true that Gratitude is more than just an attitude. It’s more than a quick post on Facebook  amongst obscenities and such.  It’s a practice; it’s a conscious choice to make every day of your life. But perhaps we can appreciate a whole month and even holiday season where some people actually try to send out good vibes; this being a direct result of seeking something positive in your daily routine.

Until Next Time…Peace!

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