Normally I love Thanksgiving. I don't find it hard to count my many blessings, but this year, so much has been happening - activity and emotion swirling all around me so that my sense of gratitude has been impaired. I feel like I'm one step behind, all of the time, and can't quite catch up.
When we live in a flurry of activity, we don't have time to stop and think about all of the things we have. I need to push the red emergency button on the merry-go-round I'm on and stop the ride for a while so I can step off, catch my breath, and reflect for a few minutes on what I have been given.
I don't know why I was born in Canada, into a home where I took shelter, clothing and enough food for granted. I assumed everyone had these things, and my children probably think the same thing. As I got older, I began to understand that children were starving, in other countries and possibly in my own neighbourhood, and bombs were being dropped in other places of the world, and the very safety of others was not a right but a privilege.
Sometimes I panic about the future for myself and my kids. I want them to be safe, at all times, and yet I'm not guaranteed anything. I have to counteract my fear with my faith in God, and use positivity to fight all of the negativity in the world that threatens to swallow me whole.
There is just as much good in the world as evil, but I have to seek it out and dwell inside of it. The problem is that the negative stuff pulls me in so violently and I feel powerless to fight against it. But I am not powerless. I can fight it, and my weapons are gratitude and positive action. I am not a victim of my circumstances. I am in control of how I feel and how I react to what happens to me.
Love can combat hate, faith can fight fear, and kindness is the opposite of meanness. I am thankful for how far I've come from the negative person I used to be. In my twenties I thrived on gossip and complaining. Now I understand that complaining without taking action is wasting your time and eventually your life. I want my time on earth to count for something good, day by day until at the end of my life the positive far outweighs the negative.