Whenever the fourth Thursday in November rolls around, we are meant to reflect on all the blessings in our lives. Traditionally, that would imply appreciating all that is good or positive, everything that brings us joy and happiness, or that we could not live without.

While that is certainly warranted, why not also be grateful for the funky, not-so-positive, annoying and pain-in-the-you-know- where stuff — the people, things and situations that challenge us, push our buttons or make us feel uncomfortable.

As the saying goes, “There are no problems, only opportunities.” Our crises and difficulties are chances for us to test our mettle, see what we’re made of, and become stronger and wiser for it. They are occasions for us to make course corrections, adjust, fine-tune and put ourselves back in balance or on track — or perhaps a different, better track.

If life went smoothly all the time, you wouldn’t have to dig deep, really look at ourselves, search within for answers, or find new, creative ways of doing things. Innovation is problem-solving at its most basic level (just watch those Dyson commercials), so where would we be without all the problems we’ve had?

Whether you’re unemployed, having a health crisis, or having trouble in your personal or professional relationships, take a step back and see what is the Universe trying to show/teach you. Remember, those carbon atoms wouldn’t become diamonds without extreme high pressure and heat.

So this year, be thankful not only for the bird that you are about to eat (or Tofurky if that is more your style), but for all those “turkeys” in your life — the folks and circumstances that gave you stress and grief but also compelled you to overcome those obstacles and become the person you are today.

Need a little help seeing how the cr*p in your life is really cool? Give me a buzz and we’ll figure out what should be basted and tasted, and what is simply a little fat that needs to be trimmed….

(Today’s PGG was originally published November 23, 2010)


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