November is focused on fostering an attitude of gratitude, and I don’t have to scroll very far in my Facebook feed to see a friend with the status that starts “Day 30: thankful for…”
Although I didn’t participate in the meme, I love it when we’re mindful about giving thanks and when we choose to remember that we’re rich.
Now, gratitude certainly won’t stop when we slip into December later tonight, but these “Day 30’s” are serving as my reminder that November is at its end, and I find myself taking stock today. Did I give thanks for all of it? For home and hearth and health? I did, I think.
Except one thing.
It’s a week after Thanksgiving, and I have a persistent thought that pesters and pokes and won’t leave me alone.
See, it’s easy for me to be thankful for my messy, loud, horrible children. They’re my world.
And it’s easy for me to be thankful for Greg. I mean, sure, his steadfast, one-track mind doesn’t always let him notice the naked, bleeding, screaming child right in front of him, but he works hard, man, to keep this whole family ship afloat.
And it’s easy for me to be thankful for a home. And for food. And clean water. And indoor plumbing. And off-brand Spanx. And dry shampoo.
But what if I’m also thankful for me?
That’s the thought that won’t leave me alone. What if I’m thankful for me?
I don’t know. Is that crazy? Totally nuts? Frightfully weird?
It’s just… what if, you guys?
What if I get invited to the Gratitude Ball? And what if I go? And enter as if I belong, announced at the door by the stuffy butler and everything?
What if I’m included? And not outside looking in? What if I’m not the but anymore, or the except for, or the not quite enough? What if I let myself in rather than list the reasons I should be left out?
And what if we do something radical like that? We mamas. Together and without apology.
What if we allow ourselves to be thankful for us the same way we’re thankful for our children? Or for shelter? Or for food?
What if we, just for today, forgive ourselves for being yelly or bitchy or consumed or spread too thin? What if, instead, we give thanks – noncritical, unequivocal thanks – for being us?
What if we let ourselves rest, for just a minute, from the ceaseless barrage of self-critique?
What if we nurture and soothe our aching souls? And tell our anxieties it’s okay, and we’re okay, and shhhh, we know you’re scared, but shhhh, there, there.
What if we compliment ourselves for our hard work? Without listing anything left undone.
What if we say,
Thank you, God — or thank you, Grandmothers, or thank you, Mystery, or thank you, Love — for this gift. That I am wild, and I am free, and I am, most of all, me, me, me.
Oh, and then…
What if we wake up tomorrow and do the same thing?
What if we practice radical gratitude every day without leaving ourselves out?
What if, mama?
What if we do?
Might we discover we’re worthy of love? And show our children by example how to love themselves, too?
And so here’s the uncomfortable question. The bold and vulnerable risk. The triple dog dare. Will you share with us in the comments below what it is about YOU for which you’re grateful?
……….photo credit Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot at freedigitalphotos.net