November 22nd: Gratitude

My husband and I separated in the summer and by fall, I believed that I would be able to handle the winter holidays with a calm heart and a bit of perspective but…

When Thanksgiving arrived, I found myself at odds. I became angry at my husband… I felt that when he left… he had robbed me and my children of all the good memories that would come when celebrating joyous holidays with those we love.

I was sad, unable to focus on the day’s events, until one of my close friends pulled me aside and asked me what was wrong.

When I told her that I felt the day had been ruined because my husband was not present she looked at me and said, “Are you saying that his presence is more important than all of us? We are the people that love you and choose to be in your life. Don’t you value our time together? Your time with your friends and family? Your children?”

It was exactly what I needed to hear.

I was so busy mourning the loss of my husband I was not paying attention to all I had in the loving friends and family that surrounded me… all who were offering me support in my time of need… by spending the first holiday since my divorce with me and my children.

I was humbled by her words.

Today… I cannot spend my time mourning people who choose not to be in my day-to-day life. I must release them to God, pray for their well-being, and focus on the people who matter most to me: those who share their love with me daily and choose to be in my life and by my side.

“Dear God, thank you for the joy you bring me through love and friendship. Thank you for surrounding me with people who offer me kindness and support during my most painful trials.”

17 thoughts on “November 22nd: Gratitude

  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this one!! For me it was about mourning the family of origin instead of seeing the blessing of Bill and the kids and our family of choice…I share that with others who are new in recovery so they might experience the same gratitude and peace!! Happy Turkey Day, Deidre 🙂

  2. This one really hits home for me at this time of year. I’m going to surround myself with friends this holiday season and be in the moment instead of aching for what was. Thank you for these posts, Deidre!

    • Yeah! It is hard to let go… but embrace what is in your present: so many great friends and family who love you and want to share the season with you! 🙂

  3. Thanks for this. My beloved mom passed away this week many years ago and I always struggle with gratitude this time of year. How do you know what to post just for me ? Hoping you have a magical thanksgiving. Xoxo Dave

    • Dave I’m so sorry about the loss of your mom… I know what it feels like to lose a parent and how it throws you off of your spiritual foundation. How do I know what to post just for you? Because we are in this together my friend! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you found peace and joy with those that you love. xo D.

  4. I am grateful for friends that I will share Thanksgiving with. It’s still a sad time because of all the changes and divorce being finalized just weeks ago, but I can’t say the past few years have been pleasant during the holiday season either! I welcome the changes this year despite some of the feelings that will flare up.

  5. It’s no longer a sad time – but new.
    With friends and family .
    In time, joy starts to return.
    I didn’t realize how distant and hidden I had been.

  6. I started thinking about this very thing just over a month ago. I realized it wasn’t the memories I was going to miss. Yes, there were some good times but in my situation addiction was involved, so there were many not great times. We can as we should count all our blessings and use an attitude of gratitude, but what I realized was that it wasn’t those memories I was “missing out on.” What I realized I was mourning was a greater dream for my life. It is the family aspect of it, not the players. It was what the Christmases and Thanksgivings meant in the outcome of the play. The building of memories that 30 years from now would be playing in my head as my husband and I sat together watching our grandchildren play in the yard. That is what I had to mourn. It actually took the pressure off of the one situation and allowed me to let go of the proper thing. It was that dream for my life, that at this age, I don’t have the option of recapturing or “doing over”. I had to let go of the sense that addiction had stole something that really wouldn’t have happened anyway. In letting go and letting God I realize that He knows the plan for me, and I can trust that. His will not mine be done ;D

  7. It looks to me like this Thanksgiving will be fairly ok, I have the kids. But Christmas they will be with mom, and I am fearing Christmas, and the feelings that I am assuming will be coming up. I’m trying very hard NOT to take things as they come. I know that often what you imagine is worse than reality. And fearing it means I am not relying on God like I should be. So hard!

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