Most thanksgiving is about giving thanks, expressing gratitude, recognizing and appreciating blessings. We usually feel grateful for something gifted to us. The cycle is therefore like this, receive or be gifted with something then thank. Thank the Lord for blessings received. Thank our friends for kindness experienced. Thank our family for joy shared. In all these acts, we give thanks after having received.
How about doing something different till next thanksgiving? Thank that person and then give something to that person. This would mean thanking and then giving following that order. Be grateful for whatever circumstance and magnify it by being generous or kind. Praise and appreciate without receiving then double it up with sweetness or affection. It’s like thanking it forward.
Today I tried it. My friend was grieving and I tried comforting her by using the thanking and giving experiment. I said thank you for being a blessing then added a sincere compliment about what I loved about her character. Her reaction was spontaneous, sweet and authentic. This was utterly different from her usual quick puns. For a few minutes, the conversation was warm and unguarded. The grief when acknowledged was felt deeply. Sharing it and accepting at her pace allowed her to receive the thanks and then the comfort and support. It opened both our hearts. The cozy and connected atmosphere stayed a little while longer. It maybe we healed one another. I realized that thanking and being a little more generous (a bit more time, a sprinkling of kindness, a touch more affection, a link to your truth) has its own reward and isn’t that difficult to do.
So maybe I can thank then give (once a day) till next thanksgiving.