by Shea Petaja

To be brutally, bordering on offensively honest I would like to say that the gratitude status updates during the month of November leading up to Thanksgiving felt like pollution on my feed.  I didn't read any of them.  Perhaps I doubted the genuine posture of those posting, or felt annoyed by the bandwagon effect, or even more horrifying - it revealed the ungrateful and (can I admit jealous?) person I really am.

This fall has been one of letting go.  The memory of learning to let go brings me all the way back to high school.  I was letting go of someone in my life and it felt like a forever sever.  I was fist-clinched-pissed and my dad said to me, “Better to hold things loosely Shea – that way when it’s time to let go, God won’t have to pry your hands off of it.”

White knuckled love.

It's been painful to be grateful for what I have been given when I'm being asked to give  back.  The internal prayer when I force my eyelids open in the morning is this, "Dear God, not today." Upon praying this prayer a few weeks back God said to me (in the way I think he speaks), "Shea. A year ago you didn't have half the problems you have today. When will you have enough to say 'thank you'?" 

Got it.

My prayer has morphed into this, “Dear God. It could be a lot worse. Thank you for the problems I have today. I think they will be enough.”

Here's to hoping that God has a sense of humor and a heart for cynics.  I’m convinced that the more we are given and the larger we cup our hands open in gratitude the more we will be required to give back. 

We will never be empty handed. 

We will always be full even if it requires letting go.  

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