I love doorways and collect pictures of ones that move me on Pinterest. I guess they inspire me because they represent a change–a new place, a new way. Perhaps it’s a way in, perhaps a way out. But many times change is good.
Tonight I’m thinking of the doorway of gratitude. Thankfulness changes our perspective. You can’t be grateful, thankful, and negative at the same time. You may start negative–even in a very dark place, but when you start being thankful for even the smallest things, changes begin to happen in your brain–physically. It turns off the negative hormone drip–literally.
Or try giving thanks for a big dark occurrence or impossibility. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem quite as hopeless or impossible.
It makes sense that the season of giving is preceded by a season of thanksgiving. Being thankful opens us up to giving.
Have you ever felt irritated with the thought of buying gifts for everyone in October, only to discover that by December 1 you feel very different about it? Thanksgiving came in between. No one even noticed, but a shift happened.
It happened to me this year. And I’m not a grinch. In fact, I live in gratitude a lot; I practice it. And still what seemed like an unwelcome expectation November 1, by December 1 seemed like an exciting opportunity and challenge. (We put a $10 limit on gifts this year, and now it feels good again. I’ve come to greatly dislike the commercial aspect of Christmas.)
You might want to dispense with money entirely and give yourself. Write individual notes telling what you appreciate in the members of your family. Everyone needs encouragement. Even some who seem not to. They may actually need it more. But very few of us need another “thing”.