My mom wrote a powerful piece on gratefulness for this unusual Thanksgiving holiday. A beautiful perspective on how to reexamine loss and appreciate what once was. I talk over and over about “finding the beauty” and “appreciating the little things” but her way of expressing “aggressive gratitude” was a comforting and therapeutic new way for me to appreciate.
She talks about the obvious loss surrounding all of us. Whether that loss be of a loved one, or just the normalcy of pre-COVID times, loss is something people from all over the world are sharing at this time. While there may not be a reversal to loss, she suggests looking at what was had before it was lost. The years and experiences of shared joy with our lost loved ones, or the simple everyday luxuries we might have not had a chance to be so appreciative for before they were taken away. Her words made me dive deeper into my previous ways of practicing gratitude. It’s not just about what we have now. It’s about what we’ve had, what we have, and what’s to come.
I’ve spent a lot of time the past few years thinking about grief as well as gratefulness. As a writer myself, I sometimes wonder what more I can pull from the same topics without sounding repetitive. While most of my writing inspiration comes from my own response to life experiences, diving into the minds of others opens up an entirely new library. Experiences I might not have had yet, or will ever have, but coping techniques that can prove successful for an extensive collection of obstacles. Reading my mother’s words reminded me that even while going through similar struggles, there are many different paths we can take to come out stronger.
Learning from loved ones is always a blessing but sometimes it's about reaching outside our comfort zone. Listening to people we may not agree with. I haven’t always been the best at opening my mind to relationships with people who share different views. Especially as the country stands so divided on views that are life or death for so many. But my father has always encouraged me to take on opportunities to try to understand the views of others. To surround myself with all types of people and keep my mind full with an eclectic collection of knowledge and understanding. I may not walk away with a new friend, but I will always walk away with a new perspective.
While I’m definitely a believer in “living in the moment” and the ease that comes with that practice, I am also very much a person who takes life seriously. I enjoy deep conversation with someone who is willing to share their thoughts just as much as a fun activity. So when I read my mom’s blog post, I felt inspired to share my response. To highlight my excitement when reminded how much more there is to explore within my own mind. And to understand that while I may feel I’ve exhausted every avenue of a certain topic, there is always a different perspective and a different journey to growth. Another aspect of being human that I value so much, the never-ending journey of exploring capabilities.