9:37 a.m. and already I've read these words several hundred times this morning. Big smile. My heart passes them on to you.
No matter what your life circumstances, no matter how looming your sorrows or fears or losses or struggles, I hope it is a Happy Thanksgiving for you. I'm learning (which means I'm practicing + experiencing), at last, that joy is a choice and there's always something to be grateful for. Sometimes it's totally basic. Electricity. Hot water. Not being imprisoned for being who you are. Your heartbeat. Dogs. Stephen Colbert.
Chances are, this moment is OK. You're safe. You're warm. You're breathing. Your needs are met. Wants are another story, with a storyline that causes mucho suffering. Let the wants go. Fuck the comparisons. Let yourself be content with what-is. You can always pick up your wants later. As an old-timer friend always says, "Life's good if I let it be." I don't know about you, but life's usually pretty good when I'm in this moment. Not that one. This one. And now this one. When I don't judge, compare, rehash or wish otherwise. When I focus on facts rather than my feelings.
Not every day/holiday is festooned with fairy dust, glittering hope and twinkly lights. I just hope you don't wallow in misery because like it or not that's usually a choice too. Find somewhere to be with other people. Volunteer to serve dinner at a homeless shelter. Hell, sit down and have dinner there. We're all equal and we're all family. Call someone. If you're in recovery, there are TONS of fun gatherings and Alcathons with round-the-clock meetings and free dinners. Nothing and I mean nothing blows out a self-pity funk like getting out of your own head, being useful and focusing on others.
We are not meant to do any of this alone.
Today I'm grateful for so many things. Elizabeth Gilbert nailed it when she wrote:
"I am grateful for the ever-possible gift of transformation."
Yes. I am grateful for what God has blessed me with.
For new days and the possibility of new choices. For the willingness to change, even when I drag my feet. For my creativity. For the openness to let God decide what's best for me. For my ever-fluctuating trust (the obstacles are the path, right?). For my kickass supportive family -- some blood, some chosen. For the love and companionship of Silas the Dobie, and my furbabies who've crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
For 7+ years of sobriety, and all my fellows + fellowettes. You rock this life with raw courage, humility, grace and gut-busting humor! Thank God for a solution that bands us together.
For passions and talents that I didn't even know existed within me until recently. Photography. Gonzaga Women's Basketball. Triathlons. Asking God to show me who I am 'cuz who knows what other superpowers dwell inside me? I sure don't! Just because you're in your 40s doesn't mean your Jello's set!
I'm grateful for the mystery of whatever's next. For unmet love. For unknown adventures. For untapped wisdom. For unexplained and unanticipated grace. For ever-deepening and ripening and exploring. For more God, more love and more miracles.