This post is dedicated to the women I spend my Saturday mornings with. You inspire me!
It’s been a while since I have written. Hurricane Sandy was a major distraction followed by an early in the season snowstorm followed by my daughter getting sick. I have been reminded that when things are not going exactly as I would have planned, it is these unwanted things that cause our greatest desires to be launched! Hurricane Sandy, the snowstorm, and my daughter being sick have launched the following desires: I desire warm sunny weather, good health for me and my loved ones, lights to be on when I turn the switch, heat to come through the radiators when I turn up the thermometer, and I really desire to have a hot cup of coffee when I wake up in the morning! I would not be so aware of these strong desires if these things were NEVER absent from my experience. So now, a couple of weeks after getting the power back, I am making it my business to not forget the little things, the things we take for granted, like electricity, gas in the car, the ability to make a cup of tea and have heat on a cold day, creature comforts that we are so blessed with and most of all, my daughter skipping out the door to play with a friend!
In preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday that is upon us, I wanted to express some appreciation and keep gratitude the attitude which I greet everyone with this week. Thanksgiving is a beautiful tradition but not without its dark side. It may trigger our feelings of loss as we remember past Thanksgivings with loved ones that are no longer with us. It may trigger loneliness, inadequacy, or just plain lack. As I like to say, it triggers the lies we may believe. Additionally, we may be spending time with people who trigger some negative feelings for us. As one friend expressed, what dysfunctional group will I spend Thanksgiving with this year? We all know the uncle who likes to tell us about the pounds we have put on since last year, or the well-meaning sister who loves to share about her life of stardom and all her shining Ivy-League children? Or what about that Aunt of yours that just exudes one complaint after another about the state of the world? Do you feel the stuffing rising in your esophagus yet? Well, here is the antidote to that toxic mix:
Don’t compare your life with others! Others’ lives may look bright and shiny; however, we are all the same. See exhibit 1.
Don’t believe the lies you tell yourself: “My house is not good enough.” “I am a failure.” “I am not loved.” The truth is we are all miracles! We are all works in progress! The most important person to get love from is yourself! If we can love ourselves, we have conquered the world!
As Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world.” One of my friends is still reeling from the death of her brother who she always spent Thanksgiving with, so she is driving several hours to be with an Aunt who is confined to a nursing home. She is self-forgetting and being of service, which will serve her well in healing her own pain.
Be grateful. We always have the choice of what to focus on: the lack or the abundance. Here is my rampage of appreciation for this Thanksgiving: I am grateful for my 4 healthy, creative, intelligent, scrumptious children. I am grateful for my best friend: my husband. I am grateful for my Maggie, my adorable bullmastiff who models what unconditional love is about daily. I am grateful that my parents are with us for another holiday season. I am grateful for my immediate and extended family, especially my sisters! I am grateful for my friends. I am grateful for my ex-husband. Yes, you heard me right. I am grateful for him, too. This brings me to the next thing that I am grateful for—the fact that I don’t see the world so black and white anymore. There ARE 50 shades of grey! I am grateful for electricity and running water. I am grateful I live in New York where the 4 seasons are so beautiful. I am grateful for my Girl Scout troop who shows me what open hearts and passion looks like. I am grateful for showing up for myself more this year than I have in the past.
What are you grateful for this Holiday season? Would love to hear your thoughts! Happy Thanksgiving EVERYONE!