If you are in the U.S., you are on Day 2 of the Thanksgiving holiday (and hopefully you have the day off).

You’ve eaten a lot, maybe planning to hit the sales today (even better, you’re doing that online), and perhaps done your bit to give back by volunteering somewhere… all the while, giving thanks for everything you have.

Image: Raul Tejero Palma via Flickr, Creative Commons

What about giving thanks for everything you don’t have?

What about giving thanks for the things that didn’t work out?

It seems to me, every time we are grateful for something we get, a wish we receive, people we meet (and we should be),

there are perhaps twice as many things we didn’t get, wishes we didn’t receive, people we didn’t meet that we should be equally thankful for.

In other words, while there is much to give thanks for what is, there is equally enough reason to give thanks for what is not.

That job you were eased out of, where your boss was a psycho?

Thank goodness you didn’t have to put up with it any longer. Especially since your colleagues all quit shortly after you did.

And you got a severance package, which they didn’t. Ha!

The picky client you didn’t get, even though you killed yourself over the proposal (all five iterations of it)?

Thank goodness you don’t have to undersell your services, or time, or professionalism, for someone who was probably going to nickel-and-dime you from the start.

I mean, who asks you to re-submit a proposal over and over again?!

The speaking gig you declined, all the while wondering whether you’d done the wrong thing?

Thank goodness you did… because you opened yourself up to another gig that came your way shortly after… that was way better for you.

One of my favorite lines from The Sound of Music is when Maria says,

“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”

And regardless of whether or not you’re a religious person – or even consider yourself spiritual – there is much truth held in that simple sentence.

It’s been a tough year.

Heck, it’s been a tough few years for almost all of us.

Doors closing so hard, you can almost hear them slamming, waking up in a cold sweat as your brain replays that experience over and over and over again.

But it is true.

Every time that door slams, there is something better waiting in the wings.

Every time you are crushed by disappointment, someone comes by to help you stand again.

Every time you think you’re ready to throw in the towel, opportunity appears – and it’s so much better than what you may have settled for before.

You just have to release the angst, the disappointment, the wanting… and almost as soon as you do, the alternative, so-much-more-awesome alternative appears.

Almost as if someone dropped it in your lap.

I know I probably sound very new-agey. I don’t mean to. It’s just that I have experienced this over and over and over again.

So as you give thanks this holiday for everything that is, also give thanks for everything that is not.

Because something much better is coming your way.

Trust me on this one.

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps purpose-driven brands bring big ideas to life. She teaches at The Johns Hopkins University, has gone back to school herself with the Harvard Business Analytics Program, and is creator/lead instructor at The Social PR Virtuoso® online training hub , where ambitious PR pros learn how to unleash their inner Social PR superheroes. Owned by Lola the Basset Hound, she's mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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