Updated: Jun 21, 2020
'Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.' Oprah Winfrey
From the time I was a child, my favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. It was that time of year that all of my family came together to hug, joke on each other, replay old stories, eat almost to the point of gluttony and most importantly give thanks. Before the prayer over the meal, we each gave a statement of thanks from the heart. The thankful statements ranged from the elders having another opportunity to see the whole family together, the children being thankful that Christmas was 30 days away and everyone being thankful that my auntie didn't make her 'famous' chicken casserole (no clue what's in it).
As I grew older, Thanksgiving continued to be that holiday that I did not miss. As a matter of fact, in 2011, I moved to St. Louis on November 5th...best believe I was back at home with family on November 24th. But it wasn't until recently that I learned that thanksgiving...the act, not the holiday...should be everyday and for everything.
It was January of this year that fate allowed me to rekindle a relationship with a friend from the past. We had met and entertained each other briefly nine years prior, but life and career pursuits inevitably led us in two different directions. Leave it to social media to provide the vehicle for us to 'find' each other again.
From the moment of our first contact, we reminisced happily about the time we had spent together what seemed like ages ago. DM's became text messages. Text messages led to phone calls. Phone calls led to visits and before we knew it, our relationship blossomed into more than friends. As happy as we both were, it didn't take long for issues to arise.
Our issues weren't major relationship violations, but the root that gave them power to break through the rich soil of our connection basically boiled down to not being thankful. Speaking only for myself, I did not take the time to look at what I had before me in his friendship and be thankful for that alone. I wanted more, pushed for more and eventually became so obsessed with getting more that not having it created doubts in my mind for who he was as a person...as my friend first. Being a man of strength, with limits and boundaries, the pushing didn't work and he eventually created space between us.
Sometimes it takes unfortunate situations for transformative lessons to be learned. No one is obligated to do anything for you...including be there. Some feel once two people begin dating, or even get married, the expectation is that the other person will be there to be all that they need. The wisdom part is that people are there and do what they do because they desire to do so. The receiver being thankful for that desire is what keeps it strong and growing.
Additionally, my pushing didn't show thanks to the Creator that brought us together in the first place (we both believed our connection was divine). There's an alignment that one must stand in with the Creator for things to continue to flow as it should. Getting frustrated, anxious and yes, pushy, takes you off center and at that point, demise of what once was beautiful can be knocking at your front door.
I sit back now and wonder if I would have remained in the same thankful state that I was in when we first rekindled our friendship, where we would be now. If I had been thankful for the days we talked openly without judgment about anything and laughed about the silliest of topics, would I have freely received all those things that I was gnawing at the bit for? Or would I have even more, as Oprah stated above? My belief is that he would have given me everything I needed, wanted and then some.
What I know for sure is life is a continual rolodex of lessons to learn. The unfortunate part is you don't know when that lesson will come and who will be the collateral damage for your growth. Hope springs eternal that things can be salvage with our friendship but if not, I am thankful in knowing that this experience has enhanced me to be a greater woman for my future.