This article is taken from the seminar “Is There a True Thanksgiving?” by John-Roger. It was first published in the Insight Newsletter, November 1981.
This time of year that we call Thanksgiving has been notable for giving thanks. As we approach this year’s Thanksgiving and holiday season, let us each pause for a moment and reflect on the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving — the most obvious meaning to many of us is a time to give thanks for all of the blessings that have come our way. Webster’s defines it as “the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.”
Perhaps you find Thanksgiving a time to give of yourself to your family and those you love; a time to let them know how much you love them. Have you seen those bumper stickers that say “Have you hugged your kid today?” When was the last time you hugged your spouse, your child, your loved one and said, “I love you”? When was the last time you told your boss or your co-worker how much you appreciate them?
A friend of mine wrote a song that says a lot about gratitude. It begins:
“When everything’s not so hot
Just think about what you’ve got
Don’t think about what you might have
If you didn’t have what you’ve got.”
How often have you thought — “If I just had more money, I’d be happy. If only we had a larger house, a better car, a vacation home, “etc., etc.”?
Rather than focusing on lack or the “what might be better if’s…”, why not start being grateful for “what you’ve got.” Here’s a little exercise you can do on your own. Make a list of the people, things and qualities in your life for which you are grateful. It might surprise you all of the abundance you have in your life. Then invite your family to do this exercise together — you can make it a family game. Sit down together some evening, maybe around the fireplace, in your family room, around the dinner table or wherever your family gathers. What are you grateful for as a family? Let your children or spouse be the recorder of your family “We are thankful for…” list. Take time, sharing together as a family. Share with one another what you are thankful for as a family, things you appreciate about each other. It can be a beautiful heartfelt experience.
What about “Thank you, ME!” When was the last time you looked in the mirror and told yourself “I love you”? Yes, give yourself loving. Appreciate yourself. Express your caring to you, too. Be sure to remember you.
When we say “It’s Thanksgiving,” I think we might also be saying “thanks receiving” because if you give and don’t receive (or receive and don’t give), your life may seem incomplete. You don’t then get to be the product of your life. You become the potential or the package deal that’s some future promise.
Our society’s been based upon a future promise. How many times in our lives do we look to the outer world for someone “out there” to tell us how to run our lives — what to do, how to do it, when to breathe, when to wear red socks, when to wear blue ones. And in looking out there, we tend to get caught up in other people’s opinions of who we are and how we “should” act.
Have you found that when you stop seeking other’s opinions and stop trying to be who you think others want you to be, and just are who you really are, your life starts working better for you? And by just breathing in and breathing out, living your life the way that it is presented to you, you are naturally in a state of health, wealth and happiness? When this takes place, we come to that moment of thanksgiving where we say, “Thank you Lord, thank you doctor, thank you husband, thank you wife, thank you employer, thank you friends.”
How many of you have found that by participating in the trainings, you start experiencing more of the loving, trusting support system that exists for you? Isn’t the training a mirror of your life? By participating more in your life, don’t you experience more of the loving, trusting support system that exists for you in life?
What keeps you from participating in your life? Fear? Don’t worry about being vulnerable. It’s your best protection! In the trainings, we take a look at the weaknesses we protect. Every time we come up to “I’m too good for that,” watch out! That’s your weakness. If you’re too good for it, lift it. If it’s too good for you, climb up to it. You get to give, and you get to receive.
If you come to something that’s uncomfortable, be willing to feel uncomfortable. Some people say, “Well, l feel uncomfortable doing that and if l feel uncomfortable, then I’m not going to do it.” If you don’t do it, you’re still going to feel uncomfortable next time it appears.
Don’t avoid your life. Participate in it. Today’s participation is enough for today. Then when tomorrow shows up, that day’s participation is enough. Don’t worry about the tomorrows. Live today to its fullest.
All you have to do is listen and watch and move to it. It may sound stupid. But that “stupid” thing is the basic simplicity of all existence. Listen and watch, be prepared to contain it and get what is for you.
Where there’s infinite supply, give thanks that there’s infinite supply. Then receive infinite supply. And it supplies you infinitely. You never ever will be able to have all that you want. But you can be filled to your capacity to receive. That’s nice to know. You want to receive more? Open more. And give of what you’ve got — that lets the universe know that you’re willing to receive more of what you’ve given because there’s space.
This universe is designed for everybody equally, according to your willingness to participate in it and become one with it and utilize it efficiently. And when we’ve entered those few doctrinal things, we doctor ourself. We become the physician who heals himself. We become wealth unto everything. We just become that. We have that great recognition wherein we recognize — re-cognize that we are the Beloved and always have been. And that we are the ones we’ve been searching for and always have been. And then we have the true Thanksgiving.