Three steps to a Perfect Thanksgiving

On this day in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving. It was designed to be a day where we gather with those we love the most and express our gratitude in word and prayer.

In reality, it is just another 24-hour period. Hospitals and some stores remain open and larger stores prepare for the madness of Black Friday.

People who have to work often feel resentful. They have to miss out on a celebration that the world takes for granted. Some feel pressured to create a “perfect holiday experience for their families. Adult siblings compete for the love of their parents, causing arguments and creating more stress. Dietary restrictions, religious beliefs, and political affiliations, only add to the chaos.

All this on the day of the year created to express gratitude.

Why do we do it? Here is where you are expecting me to give you an answer.

That would be cheating. I will not take this most amazing opportunity for self-reflection and healing away from you.

The answer is for you to decide, because you are on your own unique healing journey.

While I can’t answer the question, I can take you through the healing process:

First, ask the question. “Why am I doing this (visiting with unpleasant relatives, stressing over the perfect meal, feeling like I’m missing out because I can’t participate)?”

After you have thoroughly explored the first question ask yourself, “ What’s in it for me (a sense of security and nostalgia for better days, gaining a parent’s love, feeding a sense of self righteousness and martyrdom)?

Finally, turn it around. “How can I create an experience that heals and empowers me?”

Can I scale down the celebration? Ask for help? Observe the chaos, rather than participate? Celebrate on a different day? Or remove myself from the traditional celebration altogether and make other plans?

Your spirit guides are not impressed by your perfectly cooked bird or lump free potatoes. If a Holiday is filled with stress rather than joy, then your time off is best spent elsewhere.

Do not allow “tradition” to turn you into a powerless adult child. Create an experience for yourself that makes you feel truly grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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