I am sitting in the locker room of my local gym on Black Friday. And I am overwhelmed with a sense of wonder, amazement and overflowing, yet calm emotion.
And there’s a good chance you are feeling something similar, although it may be drowned out by the parade of things to be grateful for, and people telling you what you should be grateful for.
Well, it’s you life and your gratitude. If you have everything you want…if your life is in a blissed out state, I am very happy for you and wish you continued success.
But that’s not most of us. It certainly isn’t me.
And if you’re feeling a bit of “gratitude envy” because you’re looking around and seeing pumpkin pie, happy families, healthy checking accounts, and someone warm on the other side of the bed – while these things are missing from your life – please keep reading.
The psychologist Alfred Adler, who was a student of Freud coined a very smart phrase: Fictional Finalism.
It basically means that as humans we strive toward goals: things we think we want, that will give us satisfaction, a life’s purpose.
We do need those. There’s no sense in wandering around aimlessly.
But when we obsess over anything…a person, a thing or a situation…it’s a recipe for trouble.
Because it is our nature to constantly reinvent ourselves.
We are the only animal whose hard wired programming doesn’t work 24/7.
We evolve. Constantly, and often in very inconvenient ways.
In practical terms, that means we’re going to have a very hard time being satisfied with whatever gadget we’re shooting for. Or mortgage payments, or whatever thing or life situation is being packaged for our consumption.
And what felt really good at one point may not deliver the goods the way it used to.
Pretty rough situation, huh?
I choose to feel more gratitude for that than anything else.
I like stability as much as the next person. I’ve got a crew who’s going along for the ride with me, and it helps to be grounded.
Of course being too grounded defeats the purpose. It makes us stale and moldy.
And maybe you have a crew as well. Or maybe you want one. Maybe you have one and it’s no longer making your heart sing.
That is the joy of being human. Not just the the desire, but the capacity to pursue it.
There is more stuff available to us than ever before. Not just consumable goods. Access to thoughts, ideas, emotional choices we couldn’t have imagined a few years ago.
And yes…it could scare the shit out of us. Many retreat to the safety of conformity.
But that’s not you. Not if you’ve read this far.
That’s what’s available to all of us: Discernment.
The ability to pick and choose different passions at different points in our lives.Things that make our hearts sing,
Things that kindle a fire in us that might have been out for 20 years. Or 30. Or 60.
Someone who is dissatisfied enough, or playful enough, or adventurous enough is throwing
caution to the wind right now.
And someone else is looking the adventure in the face, and also looking at what’s around them. They’re making the choice not to pursue the thrill.
But they know it’s still available to them.
That is precisely what the 21st Century offers us.
And that is what I am grateful for beyond measure.
The undercurrent of love, adventure, pain, thrill.
The absolute and total abundance of people we can relate to serve, and who can serve us in return.
A Divine source with a wicked sense of humor that ultimately loves and supports us.
And knowing that if you’re not ready for it, if it passes you by, if you fuck it up…
You have the chance to try again.
You are bigger than any circumstance.
You are bigger than anyone’s judgment of you, or your judgment of yourself.
My holiday wish for you is that you tap into that source in whatever form is appropriate for your life right now.
And walk toward it. Or run like hell. Your choice.
It will still be here for you, as it’s always been.
What are you thankful for this year that others might not see as a good thing…but you know really is?
Share below. Show someone the courage to speak truth, even when it isn’t pretty. They will be thankful for you!