On Thanksgiving, we go around the table and everyone says what they are grateful for. The answers range from heart tugging to downright funny. As I look at the faces, I am overwhelmed with the feeling of how much I love each and every one of them. The wash of gratitude is so intense that is actually feels like a clear blanket landing lightly on my skin. I look at all their different faces, eclectic personalities and varying points of view and love them all. I am thankful that I can love.
I know, sometimes the holidays bring challenges of family and memories that don't always make you sentimental. The thought of holidays brings angst. If that is you, consider creating new experiences that create new memories. You don't have to continue to bring the past with you to each event. Consider deciding to do something loving for you this year and create a new experience. Starting with what you are grateful for is a new door that you can step through. Don't give the bad experiences power, take it back and move forward. And in your forward new experience, surround yourself with people and experiences that edify and bring you joy.
If you are struggling with forgiveness, reconsider for your own sake. Carrying around resentment (warranted or not) is toxic and only results in limiting outcomes for you. Opening your heart to gratitude leaves you open to healing that allows forgiveness, love and the acceptance that some people that come into our lives may be broken, but it is not our job to fix them. You can love and not fix.
In this season, I encourage you to take in the holidays instead of going through them. Think deeply about what you are grateful for and make a list of them, big and small. Use that list to take your heart in a different direction. At Thanksgiving, look around the table at the faces of the people who drive you crazy all year long and be thankful that you can Love.