The Light of Thanksgiving

A translucent Iceberg in Cierva Cove, which is 6 nautical miles southeast of Cape Sterneck in Hughes Bay, just south of Chavdar Peninsula along the west coast of Graham Land, Antarctica
We all have months that we dread and love for many reasons. For me November is one of those months. The Resnick family lost our dad in the month of November not long before Thanksgiving, seven years ago. I lost and gained love more than once in the month of November. So for me personally it is a month of happiness and sadness and last but not least it seems to culminate on Thanksgiving.
What an interesting holiday. Thanksgiving is different than most holidays. First it is a secular holiday where we celebrate gratitude, clearly something that we desperately need.  Historically, Thanksgiving has been an annual holiday observed in both the United States and Canada but intriguingly it is not on the same date in both countries. The origin dates back to 1621 and the Pilgrims which today raises questions of political correctness.
Traditionally Thanksgiving always falls on the fourth Thursday in November. Did you know that we can thank President Abraham Lincoln for not only abolishing slavery but also for declaring Thanksgiving a federal holiday back in 1863.

For many people Thanksgiving Day usually brings with it an atmosphere of travel, family, and sumptuous food.

More importantly however it is a time for gratitude and reflection. It is a time to celebrate by opening our eyes to the blessings we sometimes take for granted.
Gratitude is not always a given. It is a choice.  It is a time to notice that even with all the pain and misery in the world this is a day to recognize where the good comes from. It doesn’t mean that the bad and dark disappears but it is a day to look for the light and be thankful that there is light even on the darkest of days.
Good circumstances and opportunities can include things like health, a job, a place to live, food, having our family and friends or simply a strong support system. It is a day to think and reflect on the good in the universe and to look beyond ourselves.
Acknowledging the good that other people bring, even those who have caused harm to us is important. Gratitude, Reflection and Forgiveness are all qualities that resonate on Thanksgiving. We need to continually remind ourselves of the importance of incorporating gratitude into our stream of consciousness, and remember that even if it seems as if we’ve hit rock bottom, there’s always a bright light to be found.
Scientifically the recognization of  others can activate the reward centers of our brains releasing endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. Ironically, Turkey secretes a relative to melatonin known as Tryptophan which produces sleepless. The more you think about others and gratitude the more endorphins are released and thus countering the effects of Turkey. Look around tomorrow and see who is sleepy and who isn’t….
Seriously tomorrow is really a day to look at all that is good and positive. If we could all just recognize that concept of  what is good in our life and  forgive, than just maybe everyday could resemble Thanksgiving.


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