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'What Do I Have to Be Thankful For?' Tips for Facing Loss at the Holidays

The healing power of giving thanks and expressing gratitude is very strong.

Thanksgiving is approaching, the holiday that encourages us to stop for a moment in life to give thanks. 

This holiday reminds and encourages us to gather as a loving family, to celebrate the joy of love and thankfulness.

However, for many experiencing a life of being alone and the pain of a relationship loss, this holiday is filled with grief, sadness and fear of the future. 

This holiday may be one you want to avoid.

You're thinking “What do I have to be thankful for?”

Giving thanks and showing gratitude might seem like crazy concepts.

What you are feeling is very real and natural as you are grieving. You may be grieving the loss of one you loved, the relationship you had and most of all the family that you were or thought you would be.  

Often during these times our sadness and fear turns into anger.  We begin to feel the anger toward the media and retail industry for constantly promoting such a loving, wondrous holiday season.  

As those around us are joyous of the holiday we become depressed when we hear laughter and see the festive spirit in holiday colors and symbols of the holidays. Many times we become angry at ourselves for not being able to “snap out of it” and get into the holiday spirit.

As we begin the process of redefining our lives during this time of transition and  relationship loss, we need to understand we do have much to be thankful for. 

Sure this year and years to come will not have the same feel as the years of the past.  We have become a different person because of the changes within our lives.  Our lives have been and will forever be rearranged. 

As we begin to travel through the transition to a new life, we start to understand our priorities, the preciousness time and the power to love.  The love of others and yes, of ourselves! 

As we begin to understand the sadness and fear, we begin to manage our anger.  We start to fit in socially and maintain a level of self-love and acceptance on a one-day-at-a-time schedule. We begin to understand our Movement of Choice.

We become wiser than we ever were before, even if you don’t feel so quite yet. Make this the first thing you give thanks for this year? Try saying this….I am thankful that I am becoming a wiser person!  Say this out loud. 

Not there yet?  It’s all right to feel what you are feeling…try saying.., "Even though I am really sad this year, I am grateful to be growing into a wiser person."

The healing power of giving thanks and expressing gratitude is very strong. Many lives have been changed by expressing and giving gratitude to others and to ourselves. 

What better time to begin your Movement of Choice and begin a gratitude journal…a “Thanksgiving Journal”! Start today, this American holiday of Thanksgiving. I encourage you to begin to write a list of things you can truly be thankful for.

Take action…start by being thankful for the small things in life.  For instance, the beautiful sun in the morning, the smell of coffee brewing, fresh baked cookies and the sound of a child’s laughter, there are many I am sure you can think of and are thankful for.

Look within…give thanks for your health.  That you simply wake up in the morning. Give thanks to what you bring to others and the wonderful person you are.

Take a moment to look at your past and give thanks for those who have touched your life.  As it is those who have touched you on your journey in life who have made you who you are today and yes add those you have touched.

Look to your future as fearful as it may feel at times…you have much to be grateful for.  Think about the positive changes in your life, allow yourself to begin to dream.  To dream of the future to come!  Humbly offer these thanksgiving possibilities to you.

As you are making your “Thanksgiving Journal,” it is OK if tears are staining your pages.  As without true feeling we are nothing.  What you feel deep down is who you are and for this we are very thankful.

May this Thanksgiving holiday be the one which will give you peace in your journey of life!

Cece Shatz,

My Friends Connect, Inc.

Certified Divorce Coach and Public Speaker

Radio Host of Going Solo – Life After Divorce, http://rhinoonair.com

Dads Going Solo – www.dadsgoingsolo.com

My Friends Connect Tampa Bay Divorce Support Social Group


My Friends Connect Transition into Dating and Relationships


My Friends Connect Tampa Bay Relationship Wanted 45+ Singles


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Cece Shatz, My Friends Connect Tampa Bay November 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM
David, your post regarding your wife was a breath of fresh air! Love, honor and respect are important aspects in a relationship and it looks like you are one lucky man. The past is the past and I am sure it was one journey for you to experience but so pleased to hear you are where you want to be....Happy!
Cece Shatz, My Friends Connect Tampa Bay November 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Regarding my credentials, my bio is listed on Patch.com. I have been through the school of hard knocks and realize there are many on this same journey. Over the years I along with others in My Friends Connect with our "paying it forward" method have helped many through the pain and devastation of divorce. Currently there are over 300 members in the divorce support/social group, over a 100 in the transition into dating and relationship group plus over 200 in the 45+ singles group. I am a Certified Divorce Coach and attended the CDC Program guided by Pegotty and Randy Cooper who are local here in Tampa. The program is very enlightening and I would highly recommend this course to anyone seeking such a vocation of helping those through divorce.
Cece Shatz, My Friends Connect Tampa Bay November 21, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Patch.com has kindly offered me an opportunity to blog simply because there are people who need the comfort. I am not a professional writer, merely someone who has the heart to help and I am honored to do so. The question presented by Cheryl was why are my blogs on the first page? Maybe we should also ask this same question to The Huffington Post, where they have featured the divorce support group and Bay News 9 when they did a weekend feature Thanksgiving 2010. The answer could simply be, there are people who need and want the support. Regarding advertising, this was not my intention. But I must admit Cheryl, with your negative unfounded personal attach you have certainly driven attention to what I do and I thank you for the exposure. If you look at the other blogs you will see the sites are also listed. This is smart of Patch.com because it creates additional exposure for them as I am an active promoter of divorce support in social media. Regarding the post from my sister, Bobbie, words can’t begin to express the love I felt reading her words of respect and support. This will certainly be a special entry in my Thanksgiving Journal!
Valerie Nolte November 21, 2012 at 04:47 PM
At the risk of further providing a forum for your bitter tirades, cherylwithac, I am neither ignorant nor naive. I am able to read a blog on a website and differentiate it from a news story. I can also determine, based on the comment by Linda Hersey, that Ms. Schatz was a blogger for the St. Petersburg Patch. That does not mean she worked for Patch. What I am not able to comprehend is why this particular blog or blogger causes you such angst. I'm beginning to believe you have a personal reason for attacking Ms. Schatz or anyone else who feels she has a right to share her thoughts on the feeling of sadness that some experience at this time of year. Ms Schatz offers practical ways for people to become more aware of and thankful for all the good things in our lives. There's nothing radical about keeping a journal or appreciating a beautiful sunrise. In fact, there is nothing whatsoever in this blog that asks anyone to do anything other than to be grateful for their life and have hope for the future. Why would she need to give you her credentials for that? If you want to continue to be angry and spew negativity, perhaps you should start your own blog. In the meantime, I suggest you take a look around you and see where you can help someone in need rather than spending your time attacking others. To repeat Ms. Schatz' ending comment: "May this Thanksgiving holiday be the one which will give you peace in your journey of life!"
Anne Cobb aka www.thepostcardlady.com December 17, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Wow, if cherylwithac seems to have nothing better to do than demean any post that is on here, you must be one of those bitter lonely people out there, maybe if you would not be so offensive you would have someone to share a Holiday story with, The article said what do I have to be thankful for, me I'm thankful to have people who care enough to see my strength and get through life even thou terrible things has happen in my life, I won't let hate take residence of my heart or soul. I am strong enough to have a good heart. I am thankful that a person like you is not my neighbor, but if you were I will find why you are so angry. I will pray for you, and let God judge and help you. When there is no more I can do, I shall shut my door and let you spend time, either healing yourself or continue your path of self destruction. I say get over it and move on.


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