(Credit: Lucas Films, Disney)
“I’m thinking – I owe you one” – Han Solo (deleted scene, “Return of the Jedi”)
In “The Return of the Jedi” Luke travels to Tatooine where he rescues Han Solo and Princess Leia and finally defeats Jabba the Hutt and his Mandalorian Bounty Hunter Bobba Fett. Later Han expresses his gratitude to Luke via a comlink as they are departing the planet for separate destinations. In a deleted scene Han expressed his thanks in person. It is a touching and heartfelt moment between the two great friends and it is a shame they removed it. Han needed to say Thank you more than anything to his friend and the reaction from Luke said it all. Thanksgiving is a spiritual act, it is nourishment for the soul.
This Thanksgiving what do you have to be grateful for? Often we find it hard to be thankful. Life can constantly throw up disappointment and frustration. We seem to resolve one problem only to be beset with another. We deal with issues at work, our relationships, finances and health. The list seems endless.
We can take steps to re-frame our problems. Every negative has a positive if we look hard enough.
Life does not have to be about reactivity. Meditating on the negative aspects of life can help in understanding them in context. Is it such a big deal? Would we be much better off if the problem did not exist? Does the problem present opportunities?
Acceptance is a key way to resolve our issues. We have a choice, we can either do something about them or not. Sometimes it is better to act, sometimes it is better to wait and at times, no action is the answer. Denying that the problem exists is no solution as eventually it will force us to face it, possibly under worse conditions.
Once we have accepted our problems we need to commit to doing something about them now, later or never. Make a decision and stick to it. Adjust and calibrate if needed but resolve to see things out.
Take action, whatever it is to resolve the issue. Act mindfully understanding that our actions may have unwanted consequences.
At the end of Thanksgiving reflect on the positives in your life. List five things you have to be grateful for. Make it a habit every day to remind yourself that there is always five things you can name which you are grateful for. List them in your journal or meditate on them. I’m sure you can if you try. Some days you will surprise yourself that are more things to be grateful of than you can count on one hand.
If you keep a journal take time to write your list of gratitude down regularly to remind yourself. You can also keep a gratitude diary. Thanksgiving should be every day.
“When we offer thanks to God or to another human being, gratitude gifts us with renewal, reflection, reconnection… every time we remember to say ‘thank you’ we experience nothing less than Heaven on earth.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach.
Han Solo had little to be really grateful for when he met Luke and Ben Kenobi at the Mos Eisley cantina. The Smuggler was sought out by the Empire and Jabba the Hutt. Han Solo had run out places to run and hide. He had a loyal ally in Chewbacca but no other friends. Over time and through many adventures Han come to know the value of friends and family that he could depend on. He had the undying loyalty and love of his closest friends around him. Solo was not so solo after all. Despite all his losses he had the greatest gift a man could wish for.
Today I have a purpose and meaning in my existence, I have a family to care for, a job to do, the sun is shining, more is going well in my life than not and I am sober and there is always hope for a better future.
Be grateful every day for what you have. Spend less time on what you don’t.
“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” -Sarah Ban Breathnach