Giving Thanks

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I love Thanksgiving. In fact, this picture wasn’t even taken on Thanksgiving. It was taken in Summer 2009 when some friends and I held a taco cook-off, and I introduced the world to the Gobbleaco (a Thanksgiving-themed taco).

What I love about Thanksgiving is quite literally in the name: I love giving thanks. A family tradition is to go around the table and share what you’re thankful for, and it’s easily one of my favorite parts of the whole year. Hearing everyone’s blessings, my own included, is so beautiful and fills me up. I love it.

Lately I’ve been in a serious practice of giving thanks.

It started because recently my expectation-generator has been working OVER-TIME, especially in my relationships. And as we all know, the more expectations we’re setting, the more likely we are to be disappointed. As a friend once told me “expectations are resentments waiting to happen”.

I spend a considerable amount of time & energy thinking about what I want to happen (a lovely part of my controlling tendencies). Sometimes I find myself in a near constant mode of imagining how I want things to be and when they don’t end up that way I find myself upset, sad and stressed. Barf!

Recently though I decided to try out something new. I committed to doing my very best to shift my resentments to gratitude. When things haven’t gone “my way” (meaning the way I want them to happen): I give thanks. I give thanks for everyone involved. I give thanks for our collective blessings. I give thanks for what growth there is in the situation. I give thanks for anything & everything that I can think of when the expectation/resentment wave starts to hit me.

And as I’ve been practicing over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed my resentments have softened. I feel less sick and stressed when things don’t go according to my plan. The greatest side effect though has been that the more I focus on all the blessings around me, the less I’m experiencing being controlled by my expectations. Because I’m seeing how amazing this life already is….WIN-WIN!

Have my expectations & resentments gone completely away? HA! No. I accept that I will likely never stop setting expectations completely. But now I see that I can use my expectations, and the resentments that arise from them, as a reason to practice gratitude & give thanks. And that is Flawsome.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all. I give thanks for YOU and YOUR FLAWSOMENESS!