It is this time of year again, Thanksgiving, wherein the beginning we gave thanks to a successful harvest in preparation for the tough winter ahead. Today, we still give thanks, less specific to the food that will feed us for the coming months, but for the people around us and the food we receive. It is a time to reflect on what we have, who we care for, and to watch American football.
We are thankful for many things and people, but one part I think is missing. We do not thank ourselves enough. Focusing on ourselves is very significant, mainly because we couldn't give other people our best self if we were unwell and uncared for. I always bring up the example in an airplane in case of an emergency. The crew would ask us to put on the breathing mask first before we help others. Many might look at it as being selfish. I see it more of a necessity to self-compassion and self-care, something we easily neglect. Not because we want to, mainly because we forget how relevant our participation is.
The advantage of caring for oneself first provides the other person with sustainable and fully focused attention. It allows us to emerge into the need of whom we care for and provides more depth in our action. The thanks we give to ourselves strengthens our physical and mental state and supports how we care for others.
Caring for ourselves has to be learned. It starts by realizing the things we do for others. For instance, how we arranged and organized this wonderful Thanksgiving get-together. It involves looking at the tasks and obligations that we take for granted and not notice that if it were not for our actions, this event would not happen, or the apple pie we made would not be part of this delicious meal. Of course, this is something we can do all year through because we do so many things every day that people expect us to do. In the end, it is us who wants to be involved. If we never did it, nobody would insist on us doing it.
This year we might start by saying what we are thankful for what we have done for this Thanksgiving or throughout this year. It could also be in the form of a letter to ourselves, or saying it to our mirror image. It will make a difference in how we thank others for who they are, how they affected us, and how they played an essential role in our lives. To celebrate a meaningful gathering of giving thanks. Happy Thanksgiving.