November 26
If you can't be thankful for what
you receive, be thankful for
what you escape.



Today's Meditation:

It's so much easier to notice and pay attention to those things we have, those things that we have received--or those things that we wish and hope for, but don't receive.  It's a bit more difficult to keep in mind all of the things that haven't happened to us that would make our lives much more difficult, and actually to feel gratitude that those things haven't been a part of our experiences.

I try to be thankful for being able to run every time I go running.  There are so many things that could have kept me from running over the years, and they simply haven't happened at all.  When I eat, I sometimes think of people who have lost their sense of taste or who have digestive tract disorders, and I'm very thankful that I haven't had to deal with either type of issue.  There are so many things that haven't happened to me that it would be downright silly not to be thankful for having avoided those things.

Sometimes our problems outweigh our gratitude in our minds.  Sometimes it's not that easy to feel a sense of gratitude for what we have, especially when it seems that we never have quite enough.  But when those times come, as our unattributed author reminds us, it could be very beneficial to us to keep in mind those pitfalls and obstacles that haven't come into our lives, and to feel thanks for having avoided their touch.

Ideally, we'll always be grateful for what we have.  Ideally, we also should be grateful for those things that we've avoided.  The fire or tornado that's never destroyed our house, the illnesses that we haven't had, the crises that haven't visited us--there's an almost unlimited quantity of gratitude wrapped up in these things, if we only keep them in mind for a short while.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of things haven't happened to you for which you can be grateful?

Why do we so rarely think about things that haven't happened to us as things for which we should be thankful?

How might we remind ourselves of the things we've avoided?

For further thought:

Even though we can't have all we want,
we ought to be thankful we don't
get all we deserve.



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