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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Being Thankful When You Don’t Feel Thankful

Everyone’s experienced times when thankfulness runs awry. It’s one thing to know gratitude is an ‘ought to,’ it’s another entirely to feel that way.

Jobs can be like this. There is good pay, excellent conditions; overall a great place to work. The people are even nice. Still, there’s no enjoyment. We rack our brains for why.

Is this a seasonal thing? Perhaps we’re more prone toward the end of a long year. Fatigue explains the inexplicable, purely by virtue of the rest we take that ‘fixes’ everything.

Then some problems are potentially deeper. No amount of break fixes it.

Deeper needs are going unmet. Whether these are social, technical, opportunity-dependent, or otherwise, matters little. There is a gulf that remains; something needs addressing.

The Horizon of Hope

Ever noticed how thankfulness is achieved in a blink when hope’s manifest?

Hope is a horizon. It breaks clear for sight, and whilst it’s some way off it’s definitely visible.

One way to enjoy this horizon is to problem solve as to why gratitude is not the instinctive reaction. This is, of course, dependent on a desire to reach for this halcyon of joy. Why anyone would not want to be grateful in any area of life is bizarre.

Knowledge of what we need is the key. Additionally, addressing shortfalls in expectations is a sure-fire way in bridging gaps. Expectations need to be adjusted or met in other ways.

Appropriate self-knowledge and aligned expectations, together with the courage to move or change as necessary, are all keys to creating the hope that’s extant on the horizon; a hope that can be believed in.

Hope and Thankfulness in Relationship

It should be easy to see these two in direct relationship. Where hope exists, thankfulness is a salient by-product. We don’t manufacture a thing.

It’s ludicrous to try and be thankful when there’s no hope in sight. That’s self-condemnation or a better part to it—this is never good.

The more a person is confounded by this dichotomy—feeling they should be thankful, yet they struggle to be—the more difficult it is to achieve it. Any semblance of hope is hence strangled. These sorts of dilemmas can lead to depression. This is because a resolution cannot be found between what’s felt and what should be felt; at least, not that way.

The secret is hope. Always has been, always will be. Hope steadies the ship and gives due cause for gratitude. Hope buoys the spirit.

Work on and pray for hope.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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