Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

The notion and practice of thanksgiving is a very human celebration. Taking note of blessings is recognized worldwide as a worthy and healthy activity. While taking solace of the blessed good times, for many people the practice does not include memories of all the past traumas of life and their effect on us. One thing is for certain; we are all a product of all of our experiences, both helpful and hurtful. Most of us struggle to heal the impact and pain from the myriad disappointments of life, be they involving physical pain, emotional abuse, incomprehensive loss from act of violence, or deep regrets over personal past actions. One thing is for certain; we are all a product of all of our experiences, both helpful and hurtful. Most of us struggle to heal the impact and pain from the myriad disappointments of life, be they involving physical pain, emotional abuse, incomprehensive loss from act of violence, or deep regrets over personal past actions.

A helpful concept as the holiday of Thanksgiving approaches is to shine a light on our past painful experiences and see them in a new way. One thing is certain is that it is so very difficult to identify the root benefits of our traumas in our lives as well as how to quantify the lasting affect. The temptation is to slap a band-aid on the pain by vilifying a perpetrator or a circumstance. A more useful method is to see if the experiences enhanced your own sympathy or empathy for the pain that is exhibited around you and if you respond to others. There is a difference in feeling the pain of others and how you treat others. For some, their undigested pain has them try to stuff the pain down and to feel less, a numbness sets in, thus limiting their ability to respond to their environment. You may feel the pain of others but a sense of fear may cause you to freeze up and not act on those feelings. On this occasion of national thanksgiving (however the masses experience it) it can be a wonderful aid to truly take note of all that we are and to allow the action of self-forgiveness to assist us in transforming our pain into a fuel of peace, acceptance and action that forwards our most heartfelt desires.
Article written by Jason Wallach

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