It is the season for giving thanks…and lately I haven’t been feeling it. People have let me down recently. I’ve been frustrated with my progress in my career. I’ve been feeling a bit anxious about which way to turn.
This morning I read in one of my daily inspirational readers that I need to learn to become at peace with myself: “I wake up every morning and go to sleep with myself every night. I spend 24 hours a day with that one person, so it is important that I’m at least tolerable if not downright enjoyable company. I can’t be that person when I’m overly controlled by guilt, fear and resentment and negligibly aware of my gifts and talents…” (Hope for Today/Al Anon Family Groups).
It may seem egotistical at first, but if we really think about it, we need to be grateful for who we are, exactly as we are – because God created us in His Image and Likeness – with dreams, desires, gifts and talents. Sometimes we’re not sure which path to take. I know I’m a good writer and can help others with that gift and talent, both through my books and book coaching (helping others through editing, publishing and marketing services). It’s hard work, not always fruitful and sometimes even daunting…but as we heard in yesterday’s Gospel at Mass, we need to invest our talents to become “good and faithful servants,” and not just bury them like the “lazy, wicked servant.” And all we can do is take things one day at a time and try to know and follow God’s will…and stay positive in the hope and faith that “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 – my favorite Bible passage).
God also gives us people in our lives – both negative and positive – to help us grow, and we need to be thankful for all of them as well (sometimes it’s tough when people rub us the wrong way!) And while we can’t rely solely on another person for our own happiness, we need to surround ourselves with people who reflect back to us our goodness, and who encourage us to fully use our gifts and talents, even (and especially) through the tough times, and let the rest go.
Today, Lord, help me to be thankful for who you made me to be and the people you put in my life who help me be my best self.