Freedom in Thanksgiving

The justice system is in some ways a reflection of a greater Truth which is all about new beginnings; fresh starts.  It’s an opportunity to bring closure to a dispute or mistake and deal with the consequences so that they can be acknowledged, dealt with and put behind everyone so that they can move forward and out of the current situation they find themselves in.  That sometimes means that the consequences are brought immediately into reality and those consequences can be harsh depending on the severity of the matter at hand.  Just the same, bringing the consequences into play also brings the opportunity to move out of the past, paying the price for mistakes or decisions, and begin to begin again.

The critical difference between the results of justice in a person’s life is their attitude and decisions revolving around the consequences they face.  For those of us that take on a victim’s mentality or harbor bitterness for the results of a situation, then there is not likely to be anything fresh or new about the beginning on the other side of the end of our latest set of problems.  That bitterness and cynicism will likely breed negative actions and reactions which will lead to further poor decisions and a cycle of defeat, thus fulfilling our negative expectations.

The alternative reaction is one of sincere reflection of our own responsibility in the circumstances we face, an honest effort to address our own choices and positive steps to avoid the same or similar problems becoming repetitive.  That approach takes a positive attitude and outlook which is next to impossible if we hang onto offenses from others words or actions and refuse to forgive those offenses.  It is also difficult if not impossible if we are so focused on the negative that we maintain a state of depression which fogs our lens and distorts our perspective resulting in poor decisions based in a false reality.

Forgiveness and attitude are a choice; not a feeling.  We very often won’t feel forgiving or positive before we first consciously decide to choose them despite our emotions.  In fact, we’ll often have to fight against our own preferences based on our feelings to move through the status quo into the new beginnings.  In choosing this course, we are not saying that things that have happened are OK or giving permission for future abuses or hurts, we are simply saying that we won’t carry the baggage that weighs us down from the past.

The easiest way that I have found to work out of the funk and into the positive is to focus on the positives, no matter how small, in thanksgiving.  That is, when times are tough and there seems to be no hope, declare thanks for those things that are good and pleasing to us.  There is Power in the out-loud declaration of thanksgiving for our blessings which shifts our focus away from our curses and, as we declare thanks, Joy will replace our anxiety and Hope takes the place of our despair.  Thanksgiving isn’t a once a year event, it’s a choice to be made and made again in order to battle the darkness and usher in the Light.

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