The Difficulty of Giving Thanks

In the midst of thanksgiving, let us not forget that there are those for whom giving thanks is incredibly difficult. For many, this is a season of acute sadness and a deep sense of melancholy not one of celebration. This is not because of a spirit of ingratitude or some lack of faith. It is really not the result of any one thing. It just is. 

There is no need to try to remind them of all they "should" be thankful for.
There is no need for another pithy meme or "meaningful" quote about the transformative power of being thankful.
There is no need to try to cheer them up. 
As much as we would like to think our well-meaning efforts are helpful, they really aren't. No matter how sincere they are, they can result in more feelings of inadequacy. 

So what is one to do?
That's the thing. There is nothing to do. Because no one needs to be "fixed" or have their perspective changed.
Instead, this season, commit yourself to be present with them in thoughtful ways. In Covid times, this takes a little more creativity, but it is still possible. There is no need to overdo it. Remember, the goal is to be

Here are some simple ways to be this holiday season . . .

  • Write a simple short note (old school paper and pen style) just to say hello.
  • Send a single text on a random day to remind them you are there.
  • Call them and leave a message to say "hi" and to thank them for being a part of your journey.
  • Sit with them for a while (in person if they are part of your Covid bubble or via phone, Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime if they aren't). Nothing needs to be said. Just be together.
It can be a really difficult time for many in our family and many of our friends. This can be a time of isolation and loneliness. Knowing that there is someone out there who sees them can make all the difference in the world. 

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