Take Time To Be Thankful

From Snohomish County Advocate Cathy Hix

I want to take a moment to share a little about myself.  I have a morning routine.  Checking Facebook is a part of that routine.  As Thanksgiving approaches, I ALWAYS see the same redundant, sometimes irritating posts.  “I’m thankful for my new pair of boots” or “I’m thankful Wrap It (a wrap that, I guess, can make you lose weight) came into my life”.  These are real posts on my page I took from real friends.  I look at these posts and think, seriously??!?!  It all seems so materialistic and pointless.  I have to then take a moment to remember not everyone works in the world of advocacy.  I see, hear, smell, and breathe the worst of the worst on a daily basis.  I see families torn apart due to permanent injuries from assault, and bear witness to tears I can never dry.  So, when I want to respond to the Facebook posts and say something that might lead people to “unfriending me”, I stop and smile because it’s wonderful to see people that are thankful, no matter the circumstances.

I bring this up because I have seen over and over when someone is victimized, whether it be an assault, theft, or murder; it is hard to be thankful.  I’m not saying that it is not present, but things that seemed to matter before are trivial and pointless now.  Joy has a tendency to be replaced with anger, contempt and fear.  Victimization is the hardest thing ANYONE has to face.  It can be difficult to remember that the world can be, and still is, a good place.  So, instead of looking at my computer and saying my friends are stupid, I take a breath, smile and remember I need to be thankful as well.

Taking a moment to be thankful can do wonders for your emotional well-being.  Numerous scientific studies have shown that positive self-talk can transform thought patterns in your brain.  Though it’s not clear as to what extent this occurs, it has been found that the types of words we use can alter expectations and even our perceptions of reality.  So, even if all you can conjure up in the morning is to say, “I’m thankful to be given another day” over time, your stress and self-worth will be better off.  Why not start now as we are approaching Thanksgiving?  I challenge each and every one of you to be thankful for at least 30 seconds a day.  So, we will begin with me.

Today I’m thankful to be an advocate with Families and Friends and share a part of myself with you as you have done so many times with me.