Happy Late Thanksgiving Di-Cypher readers! Have you, our readers, at least once, participated in the overly melodramatic, Turkey Day jig where the hosts asks dinner guests to take turns around the table sharing for what it is that each guest is thankful? Every person has maybe 3-5 things they can name off-hand. For most they are the same…family, friends, food, love, shelter, legacy, etc. These are the common and most noble answers. They reflect the majority of any group’s shared values and evoke that elicited teary response in our immediate family, some friends and even strangers.  It depends on your seat in the order and the size of the table, but if you are unlucky enough to be near the end, it can take some real creativity to supply an answer on the spot worthy enough to sustain the waves of cooing and awing that followed the responses preceding yours. 

However, I encourage you all, now that you’ve braved the chaos of family and the insanity of Black Friday super shoppers, to consider the more unlikely responses you might have offered up in place of those typical scripted responses. I am referring to the dark secrets you usually try to bury, past transgressions, flat-out mistakes that, although tragic errs in judgment or fleeting unlucky random happenstance, just so happened to change your lives forever.

They say “life is about the journey, not the destination.” Life is a simple series of events that, when combined in order, make up a continuum of experiences that consequently shape a person as an individual and form his memories. The law of averages suggests that the outcomes of life’s events, both positive and negative, must be equally distributed and likely “balance out” overall to an expected average.  This a actually a terrible fallacy of probability when applied to most anything but card games, but I still find the theory valid in the most random and ever infinitely fluid circumstances of life. In other words: “this too shall pass” and “enjoy it while it lasts.”

As a natural defense mechanism, we learn from suffering. This is why our parents teach us as children with negative reinforcement. Conditioning, remember?  Fool me once...and all that.  (Again, I profess my boredom with the effectiveness of tired clichés!)  When you persevere and survive an ordeal, you are stronger on the other side of it. (Take it from Adele!). The likelihood that you will suffer the worst experience of your life twice is minutely small. Therefore, if you have survived, check it off that list of probable outcomes and relish in the high probability that something positive and equally rewarding is likely in the future to even the balance. Look forward to what the future now brings.

Everything you have experienced up to now has made you the strong and resilient person you are today, to whatever degree. To quote Rascal Flatts, “…bless the broken road that led me straight to…” I removed religion from the quote as well as the destination. You can decide what to fill in at the beginning that brings you faith, and only you can decide toward what goal your destination.

If you’re on cloud nine, take time to enjoy your happiness and success. By all means, be thankful and drink it up, realizing that it is almost always temporary. On the other hand, if you could not think of even one of those common and noble responses this Thanksgiving, and you have hit the proverbial rock bottom, remember that things will get better eventually.  If you cannot bring yourself to be thankful for anything else, be thankful for your life! Reflect on those breaks in the road that seemingly throw you off-course, and try to consider in the present that, just maybe, later looking back, you may see current obstacles as a blessing in disguise!