Article by Denise Hisey
Thanksgiving. Food, football, and shopping, right? It’s easy to get caught up in all those things, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of them. But Thanksgiving Day is also an opportunity to focus on people and events we’re thankful for. Thanksgiving can be a day to reflect on what we are thankful for now and commit to remembering it all year long.
Events like Hurricane Sandy are stark reminders that our stuff isn’t what’s really important. You may have heard the phrase about having “An Attitude of Gratitude.” It’s been very helpful for me to remember this when I feel my outlook getting negative.
Scientific studies are even discovering what God has built into us; the ability to promote our physical and mental health by being grateful. Check out these articles in the New York Times and WebMD to read more. I am thankful for the typical things like my husband, my kids and their spouses, my improved health, and my newly discovered love of writing. This year, I have a miracle I’m thankful for as well.
A background of severe childhood abuse has affected everything about me. I fought acknowledging what happened to me until my anger and resentment forced me to face my demons. As I’ve persevered and continued processing my memories and emotions, I’ve discovered there are so many things to be grateful for. Being thankful reminds me that although my past has shaped me, it doesn’t have to define me.
Twelve years ago I chose to estrange myself from my parents. It was a gut-wrenching decision, and it was followed by overwhelming emotions. It’s not an easy path to take, but, it was borne of necessity. I drew a line in the sand for my safety and that of my children. Dad passed away nearly three years ago without us ever reconciling. In an astonishing turn of events this summer, my mother and I had a truly miraculous reunion. I had nearly given up on ever getting any resolution and will be forever grateful for the experience.
It took a lifetime to prepare for our time together this summer, but we both experienced healing of wounds caused at the hands of a deeply destructive man. Though we can never erase the past, the pain is lessened because we listened to one another. I was finally able to better understand her choices, and she was finally able to accept my truth. It has been an intensive new phase of healing for me – and I believe for her, too. The miracle of this reconciliation with my mom is something I’m incredibly thankful for this year.
How about you? Is there someone you are especially thankful for this year?
Denise is a thankful wife, mom, friend, and survivor. The effects of her extensive childhood abuse have reached every aspect of her life and relationships. Her journey of recovery and healing has been long and challenging.
Denise’s passion is living life authentically, connecting with people in a genuine way. She continues her journey of discovery, awareness, and healing, eager to encourage others to share their stories, too.
You can find her blogging at Inspired2Ignite.
Opening photo – Hibbard via Morguefile
Artwork – Karen S. Elliott
Special Blog Note – Apologies for the spammy post on Monday – that was not me. I have deleted the post, marked it as spam, and changed my blog’s login password. If you know me, you know I never post stupid spammy posts like that.