I'm just saying if you don't feel like it at the moment, it's OK. As we've noted before, it's helpful to experience the whole range of emotions. And you don't need to add guilt on top of it.
Guilt is actually fear turned inward, and there's enough fear going on in the outer world. So, if you or your loved ones are going through a crisis, take solace in this concept. Go ahead and wallow in your pain. Cry on someone's shoulder - or into your pillow - if you need to. Not that I (or anyone else) need to give you permission. Sometimes it's just helpful to hear someone acknowledge the pain.
On the positive side, we've also had some very encouraging news this week. We have a new "corporate child" on the way (thanks, Robin and Jason!) And Dick Allowatt, my colleague who is undergoing challenges related to blockages in his arteries, just got word that he won a top award in a national art competition. The whole agency has also shared some giving of thanks for the award of a major state contract and the opportunity to continue to work in some very meaningful arenas with public health- and to make a difference.
So, once you've had your time in the valley, start to crawl back up to the peak (or at least to the line of scrimmage!). At this point it could be helpful to take stock of your life and look at the things that are going right.
If you try to do this prematurely, though, it may not seem genuine. In some instances it makes sense to "fake it 'til you make it," but not in this case. It needs to come from the heart, so it's OK to wait until you really feel it.
We've all heard of the "attitude of gratitude." We can't always choose the events in our lives, but we can choose our reactions to the events. And that comes with discipline.
If we focus on what's wrong or all the things we don't have, we can wind up feeling a sense of lack- and that is what will likely manifest for us. Whatever you dwell on - especially if you attach strong emotion to it- will come into your life.
Which reminds me of the saying, "Be careful what you wish for." You may not think you're "wishing" when you continue to stay in the valleys of your life. But your system interprets it as so. As my friend John says, "You don't drown from falling in the river. You drown by staying in the river."
To put it another way, motivational speaker Dennis Waitley says, "You are the product of your current dominant thought." We've covered this in earlier columns where we've explored the following pattern:
So, you see it's not linear. It's like the circle of life. If I have one wish for you this Thanksgiving, it's that you treat yourself with a little more kindness. Author Stephen Levine says to "treasure yourself." You're doing the best you can.
And if you're not "feeling the love" at this season of Thanksgiving, remember that you can change your perspective to "ThanksLIVING: An Endless Season."
But only when you're good and ready.
Linda Arnold, M.B.A., is a certified wellness instructor and chairwoman of The Arnold Agency, an integrated marketing communications firm in Charleston. Reader questions or comments may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301 or e-mailed to livinglifefu...@arnold agency.com