Last Sunday, Dr. Bob Luckin said this about thankfulness: “When you clean up after a party, be thankful that you have had the opportunity to have special people to your home and were able to experience joy, love, and fun.” After hearing his thoughts, I had realized I had stopped having parties because of the reality that I would have to clean up the mess afterward.
Suddenly, I wondered if I had missed even more blessings in my life because of my distaste for cleaning. I began to search my heart to consider what might be standing in my way about cleaning, as I have learned the three amazing questions to ask myself whenever I feel bad or indifference about anything:
1.) What wants to happen here?
2.) What do I need to let go of, to let this happen? and
3.) What is the gift that I bring to this situation?
In answer to question number one: God wants to bring more joy into my life by gathering my friends and family together.
Question two: I need to let go of the idea that cleaning up is a bad thing. When I was a child, after my mom left my dad, the children were responsible for all the cooking and cleaning. I resented my mother and my father for forcing a kid to get down on his knees and clean up messes. It’s time I let go of that old thought.
Question three: The special gift that I bring is the good news that I can initiate fun and joy with friends without feeling that I have to impose a negative feeling about cleaning afterwards. I can clear an old resentment, simply by understanding it, having compassion about it, and rethinking the old thought in a new way.
What I see even more clearly now is that I have been “ungrateful” during parties that I have thrown every time I let myself grieve the clean-up process. Even during the party, I’m already thinking about the mess afterward—keeping myself from experiencing ALL of the joy of the moment. How many times have you not experienced the NOW, because you were thinking about something negative in the future?
Today, I commit to living in the moment, no matter what the consequence. This year, I’m having a large gathering for Christmas dinner. I noticed that as soon as I offered to have it at my house, I began to regret it, because of all the work. Now, I have resubmitted the issue to my own brain. I will consider how wonderful it is to have great friends and family to invite to my house. As I prepare to cook and then clean up afterwards, the entire time, I will do my best to honor those close relationships, by being grateful.
This is the season to understand thankfulness. I’m grateful to Dr. Bob for uncovering a place in my life where I can love bigger and receive more joy!
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