November 20, 2018 Blog No Comments

I realized something important – If you’re going to count your blessings and give thanks – count yourself first. In thinking about Thanksgiving, giving thanks and being grateful for the blessings I receive from friends and loved ones, I realized that you have to start with honoring yourself. It’s a prerequisite to being grateful for everything else.

It may be one of the benefits of getting older, to finally rise above self-consciousness and insecurity, to know and appreciate yourself. It seems to free you to experience and express deep admiration for others.

Over the last week, this point hit home. I attended NAMI’s annual dinner and was filled with gratitude for my affiliation with this amazing organization that does so much good promoting wellness for people with mental illness. My dear friend, Lynn Sweet, exhibited 28 his frescoes at New Editions’ Gallery and I was thrilled at how he wowed the packed crowd. My husband’s band, Ethos Jazz, played two standing room only shows and I loved noticing how everyone was raving. And I was proud of my girlfriends’ performance with Rakadu dance troupe that thrilled the audience with its visual sumptuousness.

This overflowing gratitude for the many blessings in my life arrives from all directions and I am aware that it’s been triggered by finally seeing myself more clearly.

I think the more conscious you are of the preciousness of life and the gifts you have to share, the more you will honor those around you who give the best of themselves in everything they do. When you appreciate yourself, it’s easier to appreciate the significance of what others bring to your life. When you know your real worth, it’s easier to be mindful of the richness of all that is given to you. Honoring everyone and everything in your life, starts with you.

This isn’t about narcissism – this is about acknowledging the miracle of your life and the gifts you are here to share. It’s humbling. Having deep appreciation for your time limited offering here on earth helps you appreciate everyone and everything else around you.

Here are some thanksgiving inspired quotes to prompt you to look at yourself with new eyes. See if they help reorient the way you give thanks.

“The roots of all GOODNESS lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” —Dalai Lama

You are innately good, no matter what you think or have been conditioned to think. Stop focusing on your faults, it’s disrespectful. When you can see the goodness in yourself, it’s easier to see it in others. Notice your strengths – the qualities that make you kind, compassionate, and a giving person. Appreciate the goodness that you share with the world.

Can you see that when you acknowledge the goodness in yourself, you are able to recognize it more easily and appreciate it in others?

 “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a MIRACLE.” — Albert Einstein

I am often amazed at how well my body works. We are each a miracle of creation. My body, your body automatically breaths, regenerates skin, hair, nails and self-heals, processes food for fuel, strengthens when pushed with weights, becomes more flexible when stretched, has automatic reactions to protect yourself from danger, becomes delighted with the senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and intuition. Honor your miraculous body.

Recognize the miracle of your life, the miracle of your perfectly engineered body, knowing we have everything we need.

When I started counting my BLESSINGS, my whole life turned around.” —Willie Nelson

Let me turn this around. When was the last time you did an inventory of the blessings you have brought into the world? Not just what others have brought into your life, but what you have created. Whether they are your children, the work you have done, the change or difference you have made, stop and reflect. This is what makes your life worth living – recognizing that you do make a difference.

The blessings you bring into the world are what gives your life meaning. Give thanks for your contribution.

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. GRATITUDE is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” — Henri Frederic Amiel

What do your actions say about you? How are you a reflection of thankfulness and gratitude. Are you a good friend to someone, a loving parent, child, or partner? Do you give it your best in your chosen vocation? Do you express your talents in a way that bring others gratitude?

Recognize how your actions are an extension of thankfulness and gratitude for the gifts of your life. 

In the midst of the current turmoil around us, Thanksgiving provides a brief respite to recognize and give thanks for the many blessings of our life. Please take a moment and acknowledge your role as a conduit bringing the true meaning of thanksgiving to life. Notice and honor your goodness, Recognize and give thanks for the miracle of your perfectly functioning body. Pay attention to the blessings you bring to others in the regular course of your life. And appreciate how your actions are a reflection of thankfulness and gratitude for the fullness of your life. When we see ourselves more clearly, we are able to be humble and honestly recognize our life blessings and give thanks.

I wish you a love filled, poignant Thanksgiving holiday. If this article highlights your need to more fully appreciate yourself or the deficits in your life, please know that this can all be changed for the better. My Transformational Life Coaching and Counseling is designed to guide you to new perspectives and life enhancing experiences. For more information see my website www.spectrumtransformation and reach out to me with my Free Consultation link. I’d love to help you see your many gifts.

 

Written by Connie Milligan, LCSW
If there is anything I’ve expressed that speaks to you, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at my email, connie [at] conniemilligan [dot] com