Weekly Round Up – The Thanksgiving Edition

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Time for this week’s round-up of the best of the blogs which I’ve read over the past week. These are the posts that have moved me, taught me something, inspired me, and which I’ve wanted to share with you. Remember, if you have written or read a post recently which you would like me to share with readers, then please leave a comment below.

Thanksgiving – and the blogosphere is alive with posts in gratitude for friendship and family, beautifully summed up for me in these words of AnneMarie:

This is really an expression of love: of family, of friends and of all of those whose lives have somehow intersected with mine. My life is enriched by every relationship, and I am me, this person, because of all of those who are now a part of me.

One of the things I am most grateful for is the support and friendship I have found online. I was thinking of this again as I read Chris’s latest insightful post on finding support.

I am grateful also for those who inspire us to go after our own dreams – Debbie has a great post on this -Asking the Big Question After Cancer Treatment – “Why Not?” and cites the remarkable Teri Wingham as an example of those who dared to dream big dreams.

Catherine  dreamed of publishing her book The Adventures of Claire Never Ending and she pursued her dream to make it a reality. And it seems there is a book in many of you – my friend Lorna Sixsmith has just published her book, Would You Marry A Farmer, and Yvonne Newbold is in the middle of writing hers – The Special Parent’s Handbook.

Ah but sometimes, it is hard to be grateful..when you are ill, in pain, bereaved, depressed, or struggling with life’s challenges. Yvonne has written a beautiful bittersweet post on her first Thanksgiving without her husband, Ken; and Philippa has written a heart-breakingly beautiful post on her struggle with body image after cancer – it’s a plea to think before we judge each other – something we are all so fond of doing in this image obsessed culture we live in.

We do not know what innermost struggles there are within each individual, hidden by smiles and a seeming lightness of the spirit. Painting a smile and crafting gentle words while the soul writhes in pain takes enormous effort.

It is a reminder to be kind to ourselves and to others, and kindness is also the moving theme of Audrey’s latest blog.

And speaking of struggling.. do you find it hard to forgive when others have hurt you? You are not alone. I loved the Pink Underbelly’s lesson this week on forgiveness.

Perhaps we need a reminder that gratitude is not something that just happens, like so much in life, it needs a little work. Nancy has a beautiful reminder of this on her blog:

As we grow and evolve, our life circles expand, as does hopefully our sense of gratitude. We add to the layers of our lives. We add to the layers of our gratitude too. We become grateful for many things and many people beyond that world when we were children. Yes, with a bit of tending, love and gratitude can both keep “growing” throughout and within our lives. And much like love, gratitude knows no boundaries. Just as there is always room in our hearts for more love, there is also always room for more gratitude.

And while I know not everyone will readily agree with the Cancer Geek, you can even find it in your heart to be thankful for cancer if you learn to look at the experience in a different light.

Finally this week, I leave you with a quote from Meister Eckhart to ponder in your hearts and practise  in the coming days.

If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.

Until next week.

Yours with love and deep gratitude,

Marie xxx