Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and your friends from Second Chance to Live. I am honored to have you at my table. You are always welcome around my table. I have been thinking about the topic of being thankful, of having gratitude and being content. My willingness to learn from my circumstances provides the experiences upon which I am able to take advantage of the opportunities that are given to me. As I am able to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to me through my experiences I am being led in the direction of my destiny. Although I may not presently comprehend how my circumstances, experiences and opportunities are leading me in the direction of my destiny I have learned to trust the process.
Looking back over my lifetime I have come to appreciate the value of my circumstances, experiences and opportunities because they have been preparing me to live the life I have imagined. Apart from those events I would not be living my destiny. Through my experience I have come to accept that my contentment and gratitude is not found in the outcomes but amidst the process. I have come to realize that my ability to be thankful is connected to a decision that is not dependent on any outcome. More times than not, when I am invested in specific outcomes my ability to be thankful – in the moment — is stymied. In my experience specific outcomes frequently become distractions to thanksgiving and gratitude.
I was once again reminded of this reality several months ago when I was contacted by an organization. One of the organizations executive directors asked me to become a guest author for a mini magazine that they were set to launch. At the time of our initial discussion I was told that the potential readership of the magazine would be in excess of five million readers. Needless to say, I was thrilled with the potential and increase in readership of Second Chance to Live. Nevertheless, after the mini-magazine was released to the various databases within their network my readership did not increase, but remained at the same level as before the release of their mini-magazine.
As days turned to weeks my readership did not expand or increase. Consequently, I found myself discouraged and questioning the content of Second Chance to Live. With time I came to a realization. Because I emotionally invested myself in specific outcomes I lost sight of gratitude. The outcome became more important than being grateful for the potential of over five million individuals reading my article, Traumatic Brain Injury – Activities of Daily Living. The outcome became the focus and a distraction as I allowed discouragement to rob me of the joy of being thankful for having the opportunity to be published in the mini-magazine. My awareness enabled me to let go of the outcome.
When I let go of specific outcomes I am able to benefit from the power of humility. Humility empowers my ability to recognize that I am merely a conduit or channel of the gifts that I am privileged to posses. I am merely a passenger of the grace of God as I move about and have my being. When I exchange outcomes for humility, I am able to relish in my footwork and be satisfied. Humility sets me free from the negative influence of discouragement. Humility empowers my capacity to be thankful for the circumstances that life offers, which in turn create the experiences that prepare me to take advantage of opportunities — as those opportunities become available. My willingness to let go of specific outcomes enables my ability to be thankful.
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