When I think of Thanksgiving, pictures of large happy gatherings around a huge table laden with more food than can possibly be eaten, immediately come to mind. This year however, with so much happening in our country and around the world, my thoughts have gone in a slightly different direction. I think about all the sadness, suffering and hard times that are occurring everywhere. For many of us, maybe it is time to stop our daily bitching and complaining because there are so many people worse off than us. Thanksgiving has traditionally been a time to reflect on our lives, to think about how lucky we are and to be grateful for what we have. Maybe reviewing and giving thanks for our past blessings on this designated day is not enough. Maybe we should also do a preview of things yet to come and be grateful for what lies ahead.


My intention is not to discuss world problems today. Let’s look closer to home for issues. In my opinion, there is nothing more important than the people who surround you, love you, encourage you and support you throughout your life and I am so grateful for them. However, there may be times when everyday misinterpretations or arguments result in strife or fractured relationships within this important group. Maybe there has been a family member or friend you have not spoken to for months or years for whatever reason. Perhaps Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reach out to them, talk with them and let past misunderstandings be resolved and then forgotten. Maybe it is time to forgive not just them but more importantly, yourself. Stop carrying around this pain. Let it go. Holding onto hurts and negative thoughts serve no purpose for you. Maybe Thanksgiving is the time to purge the past because it is the past. Let’s look forward to and be thankful for things that the future holds for us.


According to writer Maxwell Maltz, emotional scars such as old hurts, grudges, grievances, resentments, etc. must be cut out or surgically removed entirely if you wish to have newfound peace of mind and happiness. Forgiveness, when it is real and genuine, complete and forgotten is the scalpel that can remove the pus from old emotional wounds, heal them and eliminate scar tissue. Put another way, forgiveness should be like a cancelled IOU note. Tear it up, burn it and forget about it because the debt no longer exists.


Now, forgiving someone or being forgiven by them may be easier said than done. If the hurt is too great or the other party will not reciprocate, then cut the ties, forget about the situation, forgive yourself and move on. Carry no guilt or sorrow about what was or might have been. It is over, you have done your best at attempting to renew the relationship and life moves on. The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr says it beautifully.

“God grant me the serenity

To accept the things, I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.”


This may seem like a strange Thanksgiving message but it touches on three core emotions we should feel and express throughout our lives – love, gratitude and forgiveness. What a wonderful world it would be if these sentiments existed in abundance.


I wish everyone a very happy and loving Thanksgiving Day.