Chuseok, a Reminder to be Grateful
On September 24, South Korea will again be celebrating Chuseok (Hangawi), the Korean Thanksgiving Day. For us foreigners living in South Korea, it will be an opportunity to take some rest and explore some parts of South Korea and her culture, as the holidays will cover September 23 to 26. On a personal level, this Chuseok celebration is a reminder for me to be always grateful for the small and big blessings that my loved ones and I have been receiving year-round, even when things don’t always go the way I want them to be.
During the start of this year, for three months, I kept writing daily notes of gratitude. With each day of going through the motions of surviving without living, finding even the smallest thing that I am grateful for kept me looking forward to the next day. Those days were tough, with some days on which I can only think of writing, the gift of life, on my notes, and argue with myself if I am indeed thankful that I am still breathing despite the mental, emotional, and physical pain that I have to endure during those times.
What do I have to be thankful for when all I wanted to be was to be lost and never found? What encouragement do I need to thrive again and not just survive like a robot?
If there is one thing I learned from finding reasons I am grateful for each day, it is the fact that giving thanks to God on a daily basis attracts happiness. More often than not, people tend to search for happiness, while forgetting to be thankful on what and who they have in their lives. In the end, happiness becomes more elusive. But thinking of the things and people you are grateful for before you turn to sleep each night brings miracles to the heart and mind. Choosing to feel grateful and expressing it allow one’s mind to turn to the positive things in life, creating positive emotions, such as joy and contentment. Thinking of the things and people I am grateful for in my life refocuses my attention from the worries and anxieties, which tend to keep me awake all night.
So on this Chuseok celebration, I pray for the mindset of gratitude, that I may be able to continue saying thanks despite the negative and unlikable events in my life. And maybe from here forgiveness can also follow.
A blessed Chuseok celebration to all Koreans all over the world!
Marj Baynosa is a chemical engineer and educator, who loves reading and writing in her spare time, especially on finance, faith, and other seemingly mundane things.