Let’s face it, our celebrations and gatherings are going to be a bit different this year. Here in Utah, our daily Coronavirus case total has reached almost 4k, so we have a mandate in place, to gather with immediate family only.
I usually have a big crowd here at our home for Thanksgiving, 25+ people, and I love it! We get together around 1 or 2 pm and eat and then hang out, watch football, play games, and then go to a movie together in the evening. Then it’s back to our place again for turkey sandwiches and more pie! (Pumpkin is my favorite!)
I will really miss being with all of my favorite people this year.
There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m glad that I miss them because it means I love them.
I want to miss them and mourn the loss of our gathering a little.
But what I won’t do is stay in that space of mourning. That’s not healthy.
In a former blog, I quoted my dear friend Geralee, who taught me that “Flexible people are happy people.” Nothing could be more true for all of us at this moment in time.
Resisting what is, makes us miserable.
Accepting things that are beyond our control, is the key to peace. Once we come to acceptance, we can turn the boat of disappointment around and get headed in a new direction.
But first, we have to slow the boat down by allowing our negative emotion, finding acceptance, and then, looking for the benefits of this situation. (There are ALWAYS blessings that come with our trials.)
Finding the good isn’t always easy, but it’s always there.
Directing our brains to find things to be grateful for and ways to create beauty in the situation we are in, is the way to get the momentum of our boat, chugging in a new direction. (Can we Zoom, FaceTime for find other ways of connecting?)
Sometimes this looks like ignoring things that trigger painful thoughts.
My friend, Heidi Benjaminsen, recently shared this with me,
“Happy and peaceful people know what to pay attention to…
And what to IGNORE.
In fact, they ignore A LOT.
Ignoring doesn’t mean that other thing or person or topic isn’t important.
It means you have decided it isn’t worth YOUR very precious, brain
Ignoring isn’t the same as not being smart.
Ignoring isn’t the same as not caring.
Ignoring is the ART of evaluating what is worth your mental time.
It is one of the highest forms of self-care and self-love.”
Preserving our mental energy by eliminating or ignoring negative influences is so beneficial.
I’ve coached several clients lately who have strong disagreements with people they love on FB, and are desperately trying to figure out how to like them again.
Not engaging with opposing opinions doesn’t mean we don’t have an opinion, it simply means we are choosing to focus our mental energy somewhere else.
What can we ignore that will bring us more joy this holiday season?
What do we need to stop resisting in order to feel better?
Maybe it’s as simple as turning off the news or deleting our social media apps, -and turning on some beautiful music.
Once we accept what is, we can find a way to make the best of it. And we do this by asking our brain to get to work.
How can we use this opportunity to create something unique and special?
What can we practice thinking that makes us feel good, rather than longing for what is lost?
“We have life, we have a home, we have food and people we love….”
When we give up our resistance, we can remember what matters most.
Thanksgiving is about giving thanks to God for all of the incredible gifts we are blessed with. When that is our focus, our joy will abound, no matter who is (or is not), sitting at our table.