With Thanksgiving this week, I wanted to write a post on the things that I'm grateful for this year. Although this Thanksgiving will be different than previous ones for most people, and despite the hardships that 2020 presented, there is still, and always will be, so much to be grateful for.
To start, it's Friday morning. I just meditated to one of my meditations on Insight Timer (I enjoy doing my own meditations some mornings!) and I finished my gratitude and vision writing. (Here's a post I wrote on creating a positive morning routine that covers gratitude and vision writing in more detail).
Whenever I sit in my living room with a cup of coffee, my journals, oracle card decks, and relaxing music playing (my Spotify writing playlist) I look around my apartment and feel immensely thankful for all that I have.
This time last year I was living with my parents. I was going through the hardest and biggest breakup of my life, and thankfully I was able to move out of my old apartment fairly quickly to live with them. I don't know if I would have made such necessary life changes if they didn't live fifteen minutes away and welcomed me with open arms.
When I think about this time of my life and look at the home I've now created for myself, I feel so lucky to have parents who are my biggest fans and supporters and to have found the perfect apartment right before the pandemic hit. Although I genuinely enjoyed being home with mom and dad for awhile, embracing the nostalgia of my childhood bedroom and the extra quality time I got to spend having weekly meals and crazy eight championships with them, without this current space that I'm in, I wouldn't have wrote a book during quarantine. I wouldn't have developed the self-reliance and independence that's the essence of who I am right now. I wouldn't have cultivated the motivation and drive to work toward my dreams every single day.
It's funny, I stayed in my last relationship far longer than I wanted to because I was frightened of being alone. As I see friends all looking for the perfect partner or someone to share their days with, I realize how much I enjoy my own company and value my alone time. The very thing that kept me stagnant in an unhealthy relationship is precisely what set me free to be the best version of myself that I've experienced yet. I think of how in some distant future I'll look back at this time of my life as such a sweet and precious time, where I met myself in all of my loveliness. Where I learned to love myself, by myself and for myself.
2020 made me realize even more so how grateful I am to have my family around and to be the close knit unit that we are. A lot of people lost loved ones this year, and in some cases weren't able to be physically present to say goodbye. I think about this when my family repeats habits that irk me or when I get frustrated over trivial matters.
I bartend at a local restaurant on Saturdays and my parents come in with my aunts and uncles every single week. Last weekend, one of the waitresses came up to me and said, "It's so nice that your family comes in to see you every week. You're so lucky to have a close family like that." What I found out a few days later is that this waitress' mother passed away three years ago and her relationship with her father is tumultuous. I never thought that she'd admire my family making a tradition of eating and having drinks while I work once a week.
I didn't realize how this is actually such a blessing of mine. Sometimes I focus too much on how I'm still bartending rather than the fact that I get to spend time with my family every week. I'm also always meeting new and interesting people while making money doing something that's fun.
You never know how other people are viewing your life and what they don't have in comparison to what you do, while you're busy looking at someone else's life and wishing you had what they did.
Bring yourself back into your own blessings as much as you possibly can. When you become grateful for what most people take for granted, you live an enlightened life. Everything is up to your perception. Things can be as good or as bad as you make them out to be. Your life can be as blessed as you choose to make it.
I put the effort into making my life beautiful every single day. Even if I don't have everything that I want just yet and even though I still haven't accomplished all of my goals, I still cultivate beauty in what I do possess.
The truth is, if you aren't happy with what you have right now, then why would you be any happier in the future?
You need to make your work, relationships, daily schedule, and life itself feel like it's enough. This is the secret to living a blissful life, because even when you do live the life of your dreams, have the money you always desired in your bank account, and are madly in love with your soul mate, even then, things can still feel like they're not enough. This is just human nature and our conditioning to focus on the negative before perceiving any potential good.
So for this Thanksgiving, in a year when everyone has focused on what they lost rather than all that they gained, I ask you to pause and reflect on how your life can be blissful and blessed, exactly as it is right now.
What did your losses teach you?
Were they in fact losses?
Where did you cultivate grace in the chaos?
What gifts did the newfound solitude and silence bring you?
Can you remember a time when you once wished for life to slow down?
Can you find beauty in your sorrow and gifts in your defeat?
Can you be happy with your life as it is right now?
Happy Thanksgiving. I'm so grateful to have this community, your support and readership, and the gift of being able to share my little corner of the world with you every Sunday. It means more than you know.
Have a safe, healthy and blessed holiday.
Bask in the beauty of your own existence.