On the importance of being thankful

I think it’s very important to occasionally think and feel thankful for things in life.

To me, this includes simple things like being healthy, being able to move and walk around, being able to experience things, being able to do things, being able to see the world around me, and such.  Sometimes I would even look at my hands and how I could move them around and use them and felt this sense of thankfulness for being able to do that.  This feeling often occurred to my while hiking and walking.  I’d feel this incredible sense of thankfulness that I could walk and see things. They seem such trivial everyday things but they are, in reality, something to be thankful for.

By being thankful there is, I think, a greater awareness of life as well as a great appreciation for what there is.  In addition, life seems more full and fulfilling.  It also brings with it a sense of love.

Thankfulness, though, isn’t an emotion that one decides to feel.  It is an emotion that springs from experience.  It’s an emotion that must be developed over time and requires certain attitudes to develop.  Some of these are:

–          A sense of ‘what could be’.  That is, to be thankful you must be aware of the other option, of ‘not having’.  This means you must be aware of the pain associated with not having things.  Thankfulness, then, is a result of experience, of disappointment, of loss, and pain.

–          Thankfulness also requires a person to be aware of the importance of things we have.  This means an awareness and an observing of how things are important to us.  The most profound of these, I think, are the little things, like being able to walk or speak.

–          Thankfulness requires a sense of humility.  You must know where you stand and that you are not some invincible person.  You must know your limitations to be thankful.

–          Thankfulness also requires an acceptance of who you are and your place in the world.  A person who doesn’t accept or like themselves will have a hard time being thankful.  This also includes someone who is unhappy where they are in life.

What this shows is that thankfulness is a product of years of experiencing, noticing, and living life.  This makes it more than ‘just an emotion or an idea’.  That’s its power.  In some sense, thankfulness is a ‘reward’ of living a certain way.

As a result of this, the sense of thankfulness is a good trait to develop.

———

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

This entry was posted in Life in general, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Religion and religious stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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