It's here again, the holiday season. Like it or not.
This year I saw it coming and I dodged it, stared it down and then I wrestled with it. I've personally felt the pain and frustrations as others wrestle with it and then got cranky and lashed out. I get it. It doesn't hurt any less but I understand how and why that happens.
So at 4:15am today as the full brightness of the moon woke me from a dead sleep, I came to this decision on how I will navigate Thanksgiving.
There is so much that is difficult right now. The news is full of fear and dread and pain and suffering. Some of it real, some of it hyped to feed our fears masked as news. My family is adjusting to a new season and new expectations, some changes are good and some are difficult. My social media feed is full of people embracing their choices and lashing out from their fears; trying to cling to what they believe is right. The divisions are big on every front; Gaps in beliefs and expectations. As our fears grow, the gaps grow bigger.
I let fear wrestle me to the ground last night. I hope the tears that fell into the pie crusts can be sweetened up with enough whipped cream tomorrow to make it all work out. Because today I am cleansed and whole. I refuse to be a part of widening the gap and feeding our fears.
Instead I will just choose to be grateful. That's it. Simply grateful for all that I am, all that I have, all that will be.
I will pray like never before for the families of our courageous military soldiers fighting our battles. I will not try and solve it with political opinions and ideas and conversations. I will pray for those that are hurting from the fears and the division that threatens to harden their hearts forever. I won't judge them or be frustrated by their hurt, nor will I take it on as my own.
I will look at my children with love and gratitude. I will remember how special holidays were as a child, without all the fear and the mess, and I will honor their need to be loved simply.
I will mash the potatoes, watch my mother stress over the turkey, and sip whiskey in my coffee with my grandfather. I will not widen the gap with fear. I will shovel it full with love and patience and understanding. I will acknowledge that many do not see the world as I do and that is perfectly okay. I will shovel the gap full of grace and forgiveness. I will do it as an act of love and as a decision that I have made. I am grateful for the brightness of a moon that brought clarity to an otherwise messy mind.