So it’s that time of year again. Poor, innocent turkey who never hurt anyone, lying in the pan. Dead. Roasting in the oven. Stuffed with bread products that are full of GMO’s. Screaming kids on sugar highs running through the house, grinding the cranberry sauce that severely myopic yet lovable Uncle Harry dropped all over the carpet. Dirty looks and frowns directed at your mother-in-law (hmmm have you noticed a common theme in my posts?) that screw up your freshly injected Botox, as she begins her subtle but, at the same time, larger than life assault on your freshly baked pies. Yep, it’s Thanksgiving! Yaay!
This year, as I consume my simple feast of a protein shake, a side of organic green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, sans the brown sugar and marshmallows (whaaatttt? – some would say that’s crazy talk), I will truly be reflecting on all of the things I am grateful for and, as well, I will reflect on something new. (Don’t click off the screen yet)
This holiday will be a small group of eight (8). Four (4), two-legged humans and four(4), four-legged, very furry humans that roll in mud and drink from toilets. It will be a simple gathering as most of my beloved family and friends are far away. We are separated by physical as well as by emotional distances this year – sometimes life is just that way. And though it would be very easy for me to just stay in bed, pull the covers over my sorry self and snuggle with my fur babies, I don’t intend to lie there and do the whole “poor me” thing. (Plus if I didn’t bake pumpkin pie, Al would probably file for divorce and that can’t happen until he pays off my credit cards).
Neither am I writing this to procure your pity. That’s not what this is about. Rather, quite the contrary. In the words of a very wise friend:
“Never feel sorry for me.
I have stories that would make people wonder how I’m still here but let me tell you something.
I can point out more positive outcomes that are a direct result of the negatives to outweigh the problem.
Every. Single. Time. There is a seed of potential growth from every misfortune. It all depends on where you look…”
Those annoying coffee or food television commercials this time of year that portray family and friends gathered around a festive table really piss me off. What’s the point? If you are fortunate enough to have your family around you wreaking havoc on your home during the holidays, you certainly don’t need a commercial to remind you that other people have beautiful teeth, silky hair; fine china and you don’t. If you do happen to have the perfect home and kids, lucky you; (heartfelt smiles) – you probably don’t even fit the demographics for those commercials in the first place so again, what’s the point?
For people who don’t have their family and friends with them during the holidays, those cheesy commercials can bring on feelings of sadness, depression and even suicide. Then, there are those who aren’t even fortunate enough to have a television – electricity can’t be conducted into the cardboard boxes in which they sleep. And, there are those who are afflicted with horrible pain from illness. They are too sick to get out of bed, let alone watch television. Truly the only thing they have to be grateful for is the hope that their next drop of morphine is fatal.
Yes, that statement was certainly meant to make you cringe and, hopefully, make you think. Maybe even make you cry a little. As far as I’m concerned, we should all cry a little. Thanksgiving was aptly named by the people who were thankful and grateful for bounty they received. Where once there was lack, there became plenty. Their acknowledgement of those feelings of lack produced feelings that we call gratitude. They reflected on those feelings and celebrated their gratitude each year in remembrance. Sometime in the last century, the celebrations slowly changed from feelings of gratitude for what we do have, into feelings of ingratitude. We’ve become a nation of greed; impatient for the things that we don’t have.
Thanksgiving has become more like “Thanksgetting.” (I came up with that word all by myself but put quotes around it in the event that someone thought of it too:-)) It seems as though Thanksgiving is merely the day we gorge on food and watch football. It’s the day before we all go shopping in pursuit of the material things we think we want or need. We seemed to have turned away from that reflective tradition that our forefathers began for us. Our wise ancestors knew that we needed to spend this time in reflection and remembrance. It was necessary for spiritual growth and nourishment. It was to be our strength in those moments of feeling lack and our understanding that lack is most often, merely a perception of reality.
Let’s hurry up and eat so we can take a nap before we wake up at midnight to hit the sales. Goodbye, Uncle Harry. It was nice seeing you for five minutes.
I won’t be doing that this year.
This year, I’m going to appreciate the things that I didn’t appreciate in the past. I’m going to revel in the knowing that all things I have are wonderful and special even if they aren’t what I really think I want right now in this exact moment because what I think I want right now, will surely be different after I get it. Did you get that? (grins) There will always be something else you want; something else you must have – always going after the idea of “obtaining” and “attaining” instead of just living in the moment with a heart full of gratitude for what is here and now.
I’m grateful for my husband and the beautiful home that he built for me with his bare hands. I’m grateful for my good health and the health of my family. I’m grateful for my family although they are often a HUGE pain in the ass. I’m grateful for my fur babies who love me unconditionally and don’t make fun of me for the way I look when I wake up in the morning. The list goes on but, this year, I’m adding something else. Recently, a subtle but very powerful shift took place in my thinking.
This year, I’m grateful for the things that I don’t have.
I’m grateful for the people who are not at my table or in close proximity in heart, mind and spirit. I’m grateful for the things that I “lack” in my life right now. Those things serve as a reminder that when I do get them, I will love and appreciate them more had I not had this time to reflect on what it is like to be “without”. In appreciating what I don’t have, I’m filled with gratitude for the things that I do have.
(I’m either one really messed up chick or you totally get this, which I hope you do!)
I will continue to endure all the love and lessons this life has to offer. I will be grateful for every moment. even if it kills me. (Hey Al, if you’re reading this, don’t get excited over the life insurance policy. Life hasn’t done away with me yet.
In the memory of a very good friend who transitioned to spirit this week,
If you are missing a loved one who has transitioned to spirit, please seek the counsel of a friend of mine who is an amazing spiritual medium. She has helped me to personally connect with my father. This connection brought a great deal of healing to me. You can check out her website at: