Hopefully you are in a place where an abundance of joy and love are thriving. Maybe you are visiting your new grandchild for the first time. Maybe you are sleeping in or making an early morning trip to buy bagels for everyone, before a day of cooking commences. Maybe you are hosting and cooking a turkey for the first time ever.
I am having dinner at a restaurant with three siblings who have shown me nothing for as long as I can remember. But the part that really hurts is that during my last very rough year and a half, not a word. Not one single communication. Not a single mention of empathy or kindness. Not one offer of help. Zero compassion. Zero anything.
I don’t expect anything from them and I never will. So for me to write about me being thankful for them, is like person lying about being married. It’s untruthful and I don’t care to live like that. I am am thankless for them.
(sounds harsh to even me, but it’s true)
Obviously, I have a different definition of what “family” means than they do. I carry my idea of family to my family, my husband and my three children and our pets. I even extend that level of caring to my friends and co-workers, even most strangers; ( believe it or not ) that is without breaking normal boundaries.
I’m going to this dinner solely for my 84 year old mother. She asked us to join them and I first said,” No thank you.” She said ,”Well they’re coming over here anyway, whether you come or not.” (we are temporarily living in my mother’s house until we buy our own) I said, “Okay we’ll go.”
What I learn from this is that I am not alone. Many people have families full of dysfunction. This holiday, there will be families who dis-own their own children and grand children solely because of sexual preference. There will be racists remarks made to bi-racial couples who are nothing but deeply in love. Political differences will spark arguments. And I know this is morbid, but there will be Thanksgiving killings today. Some families should just stay away from each other no matter what man-made holiday tells them they need to be together.
So to those of you out there who will suffer through this holiday, acknowledge you don’t have to be thankful for the toxic people in your life, even if you are breaking bread with them or if you are related by blood. Remember you are not alone. Family wounds run deep and never truly go away, this I know. At the table, I will say a silent prayer of support for you and your struggle.
Take this day and be thankful that you can create your own life to be the way you want it to be. Be thankful that holidays only occupy a small segment in the timeline of your life. Be thankful for the lessons learned of how not to be. Be thankful for the people, or person, in your life who is kind. Be thankful for your dog or cat, or whatever little soul you consider part of your family. Be thankful that you have the power to spread kindness to others. Be thankful to know compassion. Be thankful you can express gratitude. Be thankful just to be.
Cheers to you!
Tip: Concentrate on these tips to get through the day.
Inspiration: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie
One-day one-thing: Keep your sense of humor today, as this too shall pass. :)