The actor said he now realizes that your "best life" doesn't start "by letting go...it starts with appreciation"

By Benjamin VanHoose and Georgia Slater
November 27, 2020 03:38 PM
Advertisement
James and Kimberly Van Der Beek with their children
| Credit: James VanDerBeek/Instagram

James Van Der Beek is feeling thankful for his family.

On Thursday, the Dawson's Creek alum, 43, shared a sweet family photo on Instagram to commemorate Thanksgiving, saying how appreciative he is for being able to write a "new story" with wife Kimberly and their kids: Gwendolyn, 2, Emilia, 4½, Annabel Leah, 6½, Joshua, 8½, and Olivia, 10.

In the heartwarming snap, the actor and his family are seen embracing each other while standing on a large rock outdoors.

"Who else is ready for a new story?" James began the reflective caption. "We all acquire personal narratives along the way which somehow come to define us, but don’t always leave room for our best life."

The actor explained he "went into this holiday ready to jettison old stories" but soon realized "it doesn't start by letting go...it starts with appreciation..."

He noted the importance of "Focusing on what you love, and choosing to love with your whole heart, fully present, in the midst of whatever story might be playing."

"Then the old narratives just kinda fall away on their own," he continued. "Cheers to what we love! #HappyThanksgiving everyone!"

James revealed Sept. 30 that he and his family were moving to Texas, sharing several photos of their empty Beverly Hills house on Instagram and writing "leaving Los Angeles.” The family then embarked on a 10-day road trip east, making stops in Arizona and New Mexico to see the sights along the way.

"Sometimes a fuller life begins with an empty house," the actor wrote in the caption. "Leaving Los Angeles incredibly grateful for all the friends and memories we’ve made here. Onto the next big adventure! ❤️😊"

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The Thanksgiving holiday comes five months after Kimberly suffered a miscarriage in June at 17 weeks. That pregnancy loss came just seven months after a previous miscarriage, which happened hours before James went on to perform on Dancing with the Stars in November 2019.

He was eliminated from the competition show that night. Reflecting on the moment one year later, he said he discovered newfound "grace" that day within himself.

James said in an emotional Instagram post on Nov. 18 that being voted off at any other point in his life before would have resulted in him feeling "injustice, frustration, anger, pain." Instead, he handled the moment with grace, mere hours after the tragedy.

RELATED VIDEO: James Van Der Beek Opens Up About the 'Drastic Changes' in His Life That Led Family to Move to Texas

"A grace, which - to be honest - I had not been fully in touch with prior to losing that little boy. And this might sound crazy to some... but I feel like that was his gift to me," he said of the son he lost. "That was one of the things his soul came here to unlock: He gave me access to grace."

"... And for many of us it’s much more dire than a celebrity dance show - but the mystics talk about the cure being IN the disease... and whether or not that’s true in every situation, on behalf of the son I’ll only ever hold in my heart... I’d like to invite us all to the possibility that it just might be," he wrote.