Yes, it’s gonna get personal up in here. Are you new to the blog? Behind all of the pretty interiors is a fleshy woundable human thankful for followers who read her with tenderness. With less than a week until Thanksgiving, I hope you’ll be gathering with humans and creatures who love you. I hope it will be easy to count blessings. If you’ll be away from home, I wish you traveling mercies and safety. And if this season finds you lonely or less than hopeful? Well, then, I’ll welcome you into a space where you feel seen and held. I’ll remind you to choose self-kindness over punishment and shame. You need not fake it til you make it if that feels exhausting. It never works for me personally. But can we search our hearts for a teeny yes to welcome reality/God/Love/Truth/healing arising? For me, offering my teeny yes begins to clear the obstacles to gratitude.
Untangling Gratitude & Honoring Uncertainty
This is all from a spirit of unknowing so I’m not sure my stream of consciousness will float you closer to gratitude.
Rough seas of inner conflict and trauma are powerful.
But I’m opening my heart and typing from a pure place.
I can only share from the messy middle of this November morning, not from mountaintop glory at some finish line.
Right where I am, I feel thankful while teetering somewhere between utter hopelessness and a ray of hope.
Good heavens, it’s ironic and all rather hopeless that I would choose to write about thanksgiving on a scattered sort of day!
On any given day, my sense of optimism about my purpose, my future, my relationships, and my growth feels fluid.
It fluctuates like blood sugar and the stock market.
I’ll stand at the kitchen sink and watch the sun rise, sensing all will be well, with a confidence that everything including suffering belongs.
But another moment, I might consume too much media or guacamole.
I’ll work too many hours, lose sleep, or battle another GI infection.
It will be difficult to not see doom and scarcity.
For example, lately I’m feeling less than grateful for tools of modern communication.
Ten years ago I despised talking on the phone because it felt too impersonal without eye contact and nonverbals.
At least there were tones and cues missing from texting though.
AI is also a concern and with us daily now.
Do you use Google or social media?
AI generates responses for our searches.
What concerns me is the blurring of “real enough” with real.
Hasn’t it been hard enough to discern since the dawn of the internet?
When “real enough” becomes not just tolerable but normative and exalted, how are the highest parts of our humanity preserved and nurtured?
I guess we can’t begin to answer that until we name what it means to be free, joyful, and imperfect yet fully human.
What does it mean to be mentally well, energetically balanced, or spiritually whole these days?
And what does modern human life look like for a person who claims to feel…wait for it…SATISFIED?
(At this point in the post, some of you are whispering: read the book of Romans again, child or maybe switch to decaf, girlfriend or have you talked to the doc about anti-anxiety meds, hon?)
And the thing is, we all have blind spots and we’re always filtering experiences through a very subjective lens and unhealed wounds.
That’s why it is so vulnerable to share reflections as they stream messy and wild.
Maybe you have responses and wisdom about this idea of satisfaction. Why is it so elusive?
I certainly feel compelled to explore longing and satisfaction more deeply on this journey.
Why is it challenging to feel satisfied with the presence of rich blessing and the reminders grief brings about the preciousness of joy?
How does satisfaction bloom into thanksgiving, connection, and hope?
How does culture and systems plant seeds of dissatisfaction at subtle levels which then bloom into greater disunity?
What makes a friendship, a romance, a marriage, a vocation, a life’s journey sufficiently satisfying?
Are these questions a good ice breaker around the 2023 Thanksgiving table?
Hahahahaha. I probably won’t test that for you.
But I think pondering the answers in our hearts may lead us closer to wisdom from the body and soul about what it means to: live with integrity, recover from stress, and become sources of healing.
How might I grow in maturity to embrace a more humble spirit of unknowing?
What changes can I make to experience deeper satisfaction from the ordinary as my appetite for drama diminishes?
How can I withdraw my energies in meaningful ways from harmful territory and ignorance?
What will quell my reactivity so I may draw from a wider spectrum of responses?
How can I accept myself more fully so my needs for approval and even strength may shrink?
If you’re still with me, thank you. It can be lonely in this strange business. Bless you. And bless these mysterious energies flowing between open hearts offering their YES. Untangling gratitude? Honoring uncertainty? Holding all of the paradox arriving on the spiritual journey?
It’s the honorable work of a lifetime…let’s keep propping each other up.
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Peace to you right where you are.
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