Important Things We Should Be Thankful For

Every year on November 28th, countless people sit around a table full of delicious food, with their family or friends, and usually thank God for the food on their plates or the roof over their heads. While those are very important things to be thankful for, people tend to overlook some of the most relevant aspects in our lives that we should definitely regard with a great amount of gratitude.  

Things like food, a home, and money are items we should be thankful for everyday of our lives. With so many people starving, many individuals and families homeless, we should count our blessings and be thankful that we have the privilege of going to sleep with a full stomach and have a warm bed to cuddle in at night. Other luxuries, such as our phones, video games, Netflix, etc, are also things we should consider ourselves extremely fortunate to enjoy. However, most people feel it in themselves to recite a heartfelt prayer usually thanking God for these things only, and while they are totally valid reasons to show gratitude, we should take the time to thank life for other important things as well. 

Thanksgiving is not just thanking God for food or a house; we should be thankful for so many other things that we seldom take into consideration. This Thanksgiving, thank God, life, the universe, your spiritual guide, or whoever you want, for the bad times. Although it sounds incredibly contradictory to be thankful for our suffering; we should be. That being said, I don't mean we should enjoy the concept of experiencing any type of tragedy, loss, or traumatic event; by expressing gratitude for the bad times, the idea is to embrace the ups and downs of life and to learn from the pain. 

Be thankful for the friends that left, for that family member that you don't get along with, that person who broke your heart, or for that time you cried after class. Losing a friendship and getting your heart broken are pretty much the same thing even though certain circumstances make the experiences different from each other, and although most people could never bring themselves to be grateful for that type of heartache, is it extremely important that we see the other side of this. When someone leaves us, there are always a few reasons for their departure; perhaps they realized we weren't particularly good for what they envisioned in their life, or we were being toxic without realizing it. Perhaps it wasn't even our fault; things were said, hearts were broken, dreams were shattered, and what we thought was an honest friendship or relationship turned out to be just a life lesson. 

As painful as it might be in the moment, we should look at it from a different perspective; sadly, not everyone is meant to be in our lives forever. We should be thankful for the good memories, the good moments we shared with these people, and the lessons they taught us. Although their absence might have left a hole in our hearts, that disappointment or heartbreak that they left us with definitely helped us grow as people. Pain makes us wiser; we learn from it, and chances are that person just wasn't meant to be in our lives, perhaps because they probably just wouldn't contribute anything good to it. Fate, life, the universe, God; whoever you want to blame it on, knew that the people in question were just not good for us, and removed them from our lives. Perhaps they were hindering our growth, or harboring ill natured feelings against us, and their departure was a gift in disguise. On the other hand, these people could have left us because we were the toxic ones, and that's totally okay. Everyone has the right to remove anyone from their lives if they feel like said person is not helping with their personal growth or harming them in any way, and if we happen to be that toxic individual, losing them will teach us to change for the better and realize that there is always space to grow as a person and learn our lesson; this way we won't hurt anyone else in the future.

That being said, there are other good things we should consider ourselves very fortunate for having. Be thankful for that friend that drives over to your house with snacks and comfy pj's to watch a movie and cheer you up when you're feeling down. Be thankful for your brother or sister, who take time out of their busy schedule to listen to you when you need a shoulder to cry on. Be thankful for your father, who taught you how to swim or play the guitar, and would go to the ends of the world for you; or for your mother for being so supportive and the best role model you could ever ask for. Hug your dog, your cat, your bunny, or even gaze at your little fish swimming calmly in its fishbowl, and be thankful that these gentle animals have been there for you when you had no one else, for being your unconditional best friends. There are so many things we should express our gratitude for, not only on Thanksgiving but every day, and we should give our most sincere thanks for all the blessings we have. We should be aware that we are beyond lucky to have these things and know that there are people who would give anything to have even that which we consider irrelevant; show gratitude not only for the joy that we relish in but the pain that we endure throughout our lives as well, thus learning from these experiences and using them for our personal growth.