What is expressing thanks? What is gratitude? Unfortunately for us we've been fed a FALSE image of what this looks like.
The image of what we've been led to believe it is, is an obligation. We are expected to cook a big dinner with our families involving turkeys and pumpkin pies. We are forced to be "grateful" today for today. But LET'S BE HONEST- most of you are probably most grateful for the time off from work even though you're probably scrambling to catch up on the work that you haven't had the time to do. You have the stress of dealing with annoying family members or behaving a certain way that betrays how you really feel inside. Then you must sit around a table and express your blessings for food and for family while knowing that things are NOT the perfect hallmark delusion that everyone wants it to look like. But everyone is in their respective roles and performing them adequately, thus everyone feels "safe".
The simplest truth tonight is: THE NATURE OF AN OBLIGATION CANCELS OUT GENUINE GRATITUDE. You can not be grateful for something you are forced to uphold just because someone has created a business out of Thanksgiving involving selling turkeys and pumpkin pies and Black Friday. It becomes an empty practice when it is eroded of its original, pure meaning.
But what is the pure meaning of Thanksgiving?
I'm not even going to go into the history of "Thanksgiving" because I'm sure you all have been hit over the head by the atrocities committed on this day. Think about what you're REALLY celebrating.
ARE YOU REALLY GRATEFUL? Or are you just forced by our society to pretend to know what it is today?
And how come for those who deviate from normative patterns, today is a day that often results in shame if you don't have anywhere to go to eat Turkey and pumpkin pie or refuse to celebrate it?
I for one am not grateful for my family. I am not grateful for abusers and manipulators who distort a young girl's life, morality and critical thinking. I look at a little girl on the street and feel such pure love towards her as a human being, and she's not even mine. I cannot imagine what kind of sick people would think it is okay to not only mistreat, but abuse a child such as that, especially one that they brought into this world. If I ever had a child, I would give him/her EVERYTHING. The shirt off my back, all the love and nurture I have in me to give. I would not reject and hurt this child. I would never even hurt or reject an animal, a plant, ANYTHING.
I was brought up under the impression that my family had little to nothing- that's why my mom refused me basic necessities like a coat for school when I was freezing for years. She said I didn't need it and yelled at me aggressively for how expensive it was when I insisted I did. When my grandparents were in American for a year when I was 12, they found it atrocious how little I wore to school and asked my mother why she never thought to make sure I was warm enough, to buy me more layers? My friends think it's funny that I still don't really know to dress myself warmly for winters, and that's because I am used to freezing. Meanwhile, I recently learned that my brothers had access to my mother's bank account for whenever they wanted to transfer any money to themselves, for the entirety of the part of their lives where they could use a computer for this. My brothers told me that they grew up with money and that's why they have little need/concept of it yet, my parents still stick to their story with me that they have nothing and that they spent everything on my mother's hospital bills to instill a sense of guilt and moral responsibility in me for their lousy upbringing because they know that I do not need them. Their lies are a method of control. They think I don't see my mother's new BMW SUV, or all the new furniture my mother likes to introduce to the house every day, nor overhear that my parents are considering funding some random guy in China to write a book about their family history that paints them in a good light, nor the rent being deposited in their accounts from properties they own, nor have the capabilities to look up our real estate and know exactly how much it's worth.
What is their reason for lying? Society functions in a similar way.
I am not thankful for them, yet today is a day where we are hit over the head that if we are not thankful for our families, there is something wrong with us. This extends to everything beyond family- ask yourself, are you REALLY thankful, or are you "thankful" because someone/something told you to be?
I will not pretend.
Do you know what genuine gratitude feels like? I do. It feels like walking down the street and looking up at the sky and feeling so powerfully moved that you are alive and the sun is shining, the sky is bright. It is so powerful to a point of moving me to have a glint of of a tear in my eye. It is a feeling, a life force, moving from my heart. It is looking at the trees out in the forest today, and even though it took me so long to get here and the travels weren't smooth, knowing that there's life, abundance and stillness around us. And more importantly, that I have a breath, and a heartbeat.
It is noticing our driver rambling on and on about how she wants to die because her ex boyfriend was a drug addict who made her feel like shit about herself, while driving past a cemetery- and knowing that it takes her a second to look out that window, stop talking, and understand what she is saying.
It makes you wonder, how can you be so stuck in these petty things, when you have the greatest gift of all, and the only thing you have to do is to make sure you have love within and detach from all that cripples you, even if it is your own family, regardless of how hard that is? You only have one responsibility, and it is to make the most out of your life so you can leave your mark on the world positively.
I am thankful for love, life, freedom. I am grateful for gratitude for bringing immense joy. I am grateful for the moon, the sun and the stars. I am grateful for good people and for those who know what real gratitude is.
It is the simplest things that are true. It is the truth that will bring us closer to the REAL. There is nothing wrong with you if you cannot feel actual gratitude today. It is attributed to the programming of a larger system and you owe it to yourself to dismantle it and live your life in the way you choose without feeling imprints of guilt and shame for being you.
Unless you're a really selfish and needy person, then you should feel guilt and shame. But ironically, its those who need to feel things the most that don't, and those who don't that beat themselves up endlessly. Liberate. Be honest. De-program. It is perspective.
I am truly thankful for my readers.