Nov
27

Be Thankful for Who You are Right Now

By

The Thanksgiving holiday offers opportunities to reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives.  Many times this means other people – our spouse or partner, our children, our friends and neighbors, and the coworkers and clients who matter to us.

As we find ourselves doing special things with others and for others this holiday season, it opens up a space for loving feelings for ourselves as well.  Coming from a space of gratitude and open-heartedness for the people in our lives makes it easier to find compassion, love and acceptance for ourselves.  In a perfect cycle, we are continually enriched and nourished by this circle of loving kindness.

During the holidays, if you find yourself out of sorts and in a phase where extra forgiveness or kindness for yourself is necessary, here’s a valuable exercise:

Practice Unconditional Love for Yourself

Close your eyes and imagine you are cradling yourself in your arms and loving yourself just the way you would love an innocent, beautiful baby, or your “fur baby” pet.  Direct that love at that baby – yourself — in your arms and let that love come from your heart, wash over and encapsulate you.

To everything there is a season . . .

Have you ever gazed at a bare tree in the wintertime at dusk – really seeing it?  Even though the leaves are gone, the stark black branches look achingly beautiful against the pink and orange sky.  Perhaps you love fall foliage and aren’t looking forward to winter.  Maybe you’d rather enjoy spring blossoms on the tree or lie under its shade in the heat of the summer.  Still, you’re appreciating and loving that tree just the way it is, and you’re aware of that unique moment in time.  No matter what the season, the beauty of the experience still infuses you with loving feelings.

The same can be said for yourself – there is beauty and appreciation to be had whether you’re in the summer, autumn or winter of your life.

When you have gratitude for the place you have reached and there is no resistance, no “buts,” no second-guessing, simply total acceptance for your life and the paths you’ve taken – then you are able to go forward with nothing stopping you.

Appreciate and Be Thankful for Who You are Right Now

Like the rings on a tree that record the growth of the tree over time, we too are always personally growing in ways that may or may not be visible to us.  It can be beneficial to acknowledge how we have changed and grown from time to time.

By bringing all the parts of you up to date with who you are now, you will be able to unconditionally love and appreciate yourself more as you move into the new year – with no baggage, regrets or negative feelings.  Take a moment to ponder how you are different now from last Thanksgiving or from five years ago.

Get out some paper and a pen or start a Thanksgiving Journal that year after year you record your self-acknowledgments in a visible record of the “rings in your tree.”  Really take some private, loving time for yourself to answer the following questions truthfully and thoughtfully.

Ask yourself these questions and keep the focus on how you’ve grown or are growing now. If something comes up that was a rough patch or is causing you stress, consider how the experience was of benefit to you or how it’s helping you to personally grow now.

“Who do I know myself to be right now in all of my relationships – with my spouse or partner, family, friends, co-workers, clients, customers and my community?”

“What roles do I play in my relationships and how do I add comfort, ease and joy to the lives of others and make a difference?”

“What commitments, big and small, have I made and how do I honor them with joy and a generosity of spirit?”

“What have I done that has positively affected the overall quality of my life, my whole being, the state of my health, my career and my finances?”

“Where have I put my focus that has made a noticeable difference for me personally or for someone or something else?”

Just as you admired the tree in winter, you’ll likely find you are grateful for challenges that stretched you or showed you how powerful you are.  You’ll see how well you’ve done in your life emotionally and spiritually.  And you’ll find compassion for yourself with the realization that you did the best you could with what you knew at the time.  Only from this place of being thankful for who you are can you move into a place of even greater love, self-acceptance, gratitude and joy.

© Deborah A. Lindholm

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? ? You can, but you must include the following resource information in its entirety: Deborah Lindholm works with individuals ready to move beyond the fear, confusion or doubt that holds them back, by learning to work with their inner awareness and inner power and apply that deep inner wisdom in their life where it counts.

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Disclaimer

As always, please consult with qualified health professionals before putting session or workshop ideas into practice. The ideas and techniques are not meant to diagnose or replace the need for medical attention or professional mental health care.

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