Have you ever thought of thankfulness as a symptom?
By Dan Langerock
How does it make you feel when you are around someone who is upbeat and thankful a great deal of the time? Yes, they have their low periods just like the rest of us, but their normal mode is thankfulness. What else can you deduce from this person’s life?
They are appreciative
Their thankfulness carries over into the rest of their life, in the way they deal with others around them. They are probably encouraging rather than disparaging when you mention an idea or something you would like to do. They appreciate when others help them in some way, and show it.
Their life is positive
Yes, they have down days just like all of us do, but they are buoyant in their attitude. They bounce back to the positive. They may have a bubbly personality, or just may be quietly positive. Not everyone is outgoing and this is often mistaken as a depressed attitude. Look at the person’s total life, not just how much they talk or how they express themselves.
They probably do not put themselves down as many of us do. It is one thing to be put down by others, but when you do it to yourself there is trouble ahead. You can often dismiss the opinions of others, but it is harder to do so when you are the one mouthing the words or thinking in this vein. It is harder to ignore what you have told yourself, and very damaging to your self-esteem.
They are genuine
You have known people who were sickly sweet in how they were positive. It makes one wonder what lies beneath the veneer. All the people I have felt this about had something underneath that didn’t match up with the “sweetness”. So, learn to discern between those who are genuine and those are just putting up a front for your benefit.
One example I use is of a person who is rich. One person is always bragging about their wealth while the other one is just as rich, but is more common and a joy to be around. The same applies to personalities: if a person just puts up a front, it is like they are rubbing your nose in it, while a person who is genuine doesn’t “make the bells go off” when you are around them.
Look at the life of those whom you admire. See if they are genuine or just putting on an act. You can save yourself a lot of heartache by doing so. You can be a thankful person and not be up all the time, but your life should return to the equilibrium of the positive rather than a depressed state. Let your friends and those who love you help identify the blessings in your life. Sometimes we get so low we can no longer see the positives right in front of us. Ask God’s help in changing from the negative to the positive. He loves you very much. Have a great Thanksgiving!