Being Thankful is Important
Our grandparents had it exactly right. We do well to count our blessings. Recent science backs this notion up pretty strongly, too. Being thankful is truly is good for you. And folks who recognize and show proper regard for all they’ve been given develop healthier, stronger character. Grateful hearts feel indebted. And those who feel obliged fulfill their rightful duties. Thankfulness begets responsibility. It’s the antidote to our age of entitlement.
I’ve written before that gratitude is a matter of attitude (see: Gratitude: A Matter of Attitude). And gratefulness is not just something you feel. Feeling thankful matters, of course. But it behooves us to express our appreciation. That’s where the benefits of being thankful really lie (for more on this see: The Grateful Character Feels Obliged). I know very well that I have a lot to be grateful for. So, as is customary on this special weekend, I want to offer some special thanks.
A Blessed Career
My blessings are far too many to fairly count. But I know I’m thankful for my work. I’ve enjoyed a most blessed career. I’ve worked with thousands of person’s struggling to understand and deal with various disturbed characters in their lives. And it’s been most rewarding to equip these folks with both the understanding and tools they needed to empower themselves. I’ve also worked with thousands of disturbed characters. And to have witnessed many of these individuals become better people has been the blessing of a lifetime.
It’s been over 21 years since I wrote my first book In Sheep’s Clothing. And I’m thankful for the tremendous word of mouth from manipulative relationship survivors that has kept it a bestseller for so many years. I’m also grateful for the response to my other books. In a short time, Character Disturbance has become the go-to book for understanding narcissists, antisocials, psychopaths, and the many other disturbed and disordered characters among us. It’s also become a guide to what to look for when seeking help. I’m grateful to Dr. Kathy Armistead. As editor of my book The Judas Syndrome, she helped me reach new audiences about the power of genuine faith to transform and elevate one’s character. And as co-author of How Did We End Up Here?, she helped me fashion what is fast becoming every relationship partner’s guide to surviving and thriving in our character-disordered world.
A Loyal Following
I’m deeply grateful to the readers of this blog. It has become one of the premier resources for folks in troubled relationships. Understanding the times we live in, the character problems that have stemmed from them, and how to deal with those problems in your daily life is what my life and work has been all about. And I’m thankful for the many mental health professionals from all disciplines who have been so receptive as I travel the country doing workshops. Their embrace of my work and recommendation of my books to their clients has been both humbling and heartwarming.
Most of all, I’m grateful for my family, because my love for and commitment to them has provided me the impetus to constantly strive to be better and do better. Our most intimate relationships are our most important teachers. And when they’re toxic they can unfortunately inflict deep wounds and leave deep scars. But when they’re truly loving they promote great character growth. And I know that whatever decency of character I’ve managed to forge I owe to my family.
My sincerest hope going forward is that I soon finish what may well be my last book. For years, I’ve wanted to write about the life lessons we all need to master to be people of good character. And because of my co-author Kathy Armistead’s help, that day is fast approaching. I’ve been previewing the book in the weekly articles over the past few months. And when the book is finally released, The 10 Commandments of Character will be just one more gesture of my gratitude – my way of giving back by sharing the many valuable lessons I’ve learned. And if just one human soul finds within the book the tools to become a healthier and more responsible person, I will consider it both another blessing and a genuine success. I’ll get back to previewing the book next week.
This is the time of year we traditionally give thanks. So to all of you who have given so much to me and have sustained me for so long in my work, I offer my heartfelt appreciation.
Character Matters will be live this Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 7 pm Eastern Time (6 pm Central), so I can take your calls. And next week I’ll be in the Baltimore, MD area for 3 more workshops.