In Everything Give Thanks: The Journey of Owning The Good And The Bad

Life has a funny way of disrupting expectations. Our minds develop a desire for success, happiness, and bliss. We strive to get to “a place” where easy is the norm and struggle and heartache are far from our reality. But, why is that?

What is it about our human nature that longs for peace, even though tension is where growth happens? Why do we shy away from pressure, when that is where refinement happens? 

Muscles must tear in order to grow, and bones can only strengthen through tension. In the same way, the tension in our lives provides a pathway forward to growth and recovery.

During the month of November, people in the United States gather on the last Thursday of the month to give thanks. Yet we tend to only give thanks for the good in our lives, focusing on the things we count as blessings. In reality, we should give thanks for everything we go through – the good and the bad - because everything we go through molds us into who we are today. It takes both good and bad to grow.

Bad happens to everyone. But when tension comes our way we can either get better or we can get bitter. Getting better happens when we acknowledge everything we go through helps us get better. Getting bitter happens when we lose perspective and think we’ve been wronged in some unfair way.

Whether we face challenges in our professional or personal lives, we are growing and moving forward with each step. As the old saying goes, “a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step,” so we must understand that good or bad, our circumstances don’t define us – they mold us.

Life is a journey, and this moment is most likely not your destination. So keep your eyes forward and in everything give thanks. It’s hard to do, but if we remember that everything makes us stronger, then we can agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson when he said, “Because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

So take a different perspective this Thanksgiving season and, rather than simply recalling the good, immerse yourself with gratitude for the journey in all of life’s ups and downs.



Lucas Mack