Voices: Attitude of gratitude not limited to Thanksgiving
By TRICIA TEAGUE
During Thanksgiving, people often reflect on the blessings in their lives. It can be a time of deep thought as we put our problems and issues into perspective and come to the realization that whatever our circumstances, we are truly blessed.
Being a "glass half full" type of girl, I'm always looking at situations in my life from the perspective that no matter how bad things seem in the moment, they could always be a lot worse. That doesn't mean I don't get upset with circumstances or that I don't sometimes have a pity party. I'm human. It just means my pity parties last about five minutes.
So I don't let my negative thoughts linger. I replace them with whatever is positive that can be said about the situation and I move on to how I can take control and turn things around. Zig Ziglar, a world-renowned author and motivational speaker, said it best, "Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude." I believe the things that don't kill me will only make me stronger.
At Thanksgiving 2011, I didn't know how much my faith in God and in myself would be tried or how many trials I would face that would put my positive thinking to the test. I've been blessed with a wonderful family, great friends, and a roof over my head. These are all the things we typically give thanks for during this season. I am now thankful for many things that people wouldn't normally mention; the things that are making me stronger, like being let go from my job after 13 years of service because of a corporate reorganization and starting over by returning to Danville and starting a new business.
Now, one year removed from the biggest change in my adult life, I feel it's necessary to share my personal experience with you to encourage anyone who may find comfort from it.
As I reflect over the past year, and the many changes in my life, I realize that Thanksgiving isn't just a day in November. The holiday may be the day when you come together with family, eat way too much food, fall asleep watching the Detroit Lions, and plot out all the Black Friday deals you're going to get the next day. However, an attitude of gratitude isn't limited to that day. If you have a grateful heart, then you're thankful every day, and you're thankful for everything that happens in your life. For as the Bible says in I Thessalonians 5:18, "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
With that faith in mind, I know I was supposed to move back to Danville, I was supposed to get let go from my job, and I was supposed to start Progressive Black News. Unfortunately, I don't know what's supposed to happen next. There are still many things left for me to figure out, and significant obstacles still left for me to overcome.
However, a year ago I didn't know I was going to start a business. I didn't know if I could endure financially without the cushion of a paycheck. All I knew was that I had faith and that I would be in the same city with my mother and sister who wouldn't let me starve or sleep in my car. So a year later, I can be thankful. Even though I'm not quite yet where I want to be, I'm much further along than I expected. I am thankful that I had a dream and I made it come to pass. I am thankful for every tear that I've cried and headache I've endured. I'm thankful for every sunset and sunrise I saw without sleep in between because I was working on this newspaper. I'm thankful I no longer have a job because now I have an opportunity to see how far I can go on my own and how far I can stretch my faith in God and in myself. And most of all, I'm thankful to have the opportunity to share my God-given gifts and talents in service to all of you.
Tricia D. Teague is publisher of Progressive Black, a monthly newspaper serving Danville. See http://www.problacknews.com for more information.