As promised, here’s another post awaiting creation and publication in the draft folder right before Mercury stations direct tomorrow 2/20/21. This has been a frustrating transit for me, but it was so much better than it has been for many. I am thinking about those in the South who are without power, water, and food during a pandemic in Winter here in the USA. It all comes back to gratitude.
This post is about reinvention and some conclusions about gratitude and progress, looking at Thanksgiving and my Birthday in particular. Family factors in greatly here and my focus on inter-generational healing is accelerating. So it is natural that something as triggering as holidaze and birthdays would be on my mind.This is not easy for me to write about because some of the pain, loss, and rejection still remains. Yet I have come a long way. So many of us are fixated on birthdays and their favorite holidays.
Why do so many spend all year focusing only on 3 days ?
Reclaiming Thanksgiving by transforming grief into newfound joy .
It has been a few years since I spent Thanksgiving with my family and many reasons come into play. I must admit the last time I visited my sister’s house for Thanksgiving it was so sad. My brother in law’s brother ( who I know) had recently lost his eldest daughter to an opioid overdose said to be accidental. She left a very young son behind. My brother in law cooked the dinner and then stayed upstairs, claiming to be ill. Only a few people were present, including my sister’s in-laws, grandparents to the young woman who died. It was a very somber evening and I felt more out of place than usual. Then of course was the chair. The last time I saw my dad alive was on Thanksgiving at my sister’s house. He sat in the same chair. My sister is a major control freak who liked to arrange the seating arrangement, even for a small gathering. After he died, they gave me his chair to sit in. I was not having it. For one, it was situated in front of a small flight of stairs so if I were to move it to far, backwards I would fall into the rec room. Most importantly, I wondered why I was being singled out. It was a complicated memory and I needed distance from that chair. No one seemed to understand my reaction, which really came as no surprise.
I once loved this holiday but began to loathe it once my sister took over. I never enjoyed going to her house except to see my nieces. It was not a warm welcoming place for me and my mother made a better meal. She was known for her stuffing. People would ask for leftovers to take home. It was a thing. Until it wasn’t.
Often I would go to Cracker Barrel instead. It is not the same as a family celebration, but it has a homey feel and delicious food ( when you visit at the right times). The last time I was there was in 2019. I remember ordering an extra portion of ham. When it arrived I cut it up and mixed it in with the stuffing. Dee-licious! It took me a good while to see this at a deeper level. I was unconsciously re-claiming my mom’s stuffing. The original recipe included ham and mushrooms. The ham was eliminated first I guess because of calories. Then went the mushrooms because one of my sister’s in laws does not like mushrooms. I can guarantee you this would never happen when my mom hosted the holiday. If we did not like an ingredient, well then we did not have to eat the dish. The stuffing was the highlight of the meal and it was reduced to something boring and plain. But when I mixed smoked ham into the Cracker Barrel stuffing, a childhood memory was resurrected. Focusing on gratitude, creating alternative plans, and eating holiday foods throughout the year ( when available) also works. The loss of my niece in law motivated me to switch over to addiction work. While I am not sure I want to continue after around 3 1/2 years in, it was a good run and I helped some people. I certainly learned a lot which has supported my spiritual growth.
Birthing new values and healing on that Special Day.
Spending this last birthday alone in 2020 was tough. My family did not make time for my “special day” in 2019 either, but I did celebrate with friends. Not in 2020, it was just me turning 60. Boo-hoo! Yet working with energy has been helpful in unleashing creativity and clarity around what I really need at any given time. I bought Mystic Topaz earrings for one birthday. reclaiming my birth stone and enjoying its healing and protective properties. Recently I purchased some pendants and loose crystals. I was also gifted a Mookaite heart which is a very nurturing stone and enhances ancestor work. Included with the Topaz and Mookaite above are images of my Flourite worry stone, which activates heart opening and my Hematoid Quartz Heart, known for grounding. I am just learning how these stones work along with my Reiki attunements. I noticed on my last birthday I asked myself what I needed most and I went with fall foliage, a “joyride” and yummy takeout. The call from my eldest niece was the highlight of the day as I treasure the relationship we keep building. Sometimes crisis or lack can force you to examine priorities and values. This is a worthy exercise regardless of situation. In graduate school we called it values clarification ( I forgot I knew that, clearly Spirit is working with me here.) In the end, the little things are not so little. A call from a loved one, a cake with a candle, an unexpected text, a walk in the woods, a song in your heart.
Let’s co create each day however we like so we can celebrate our birthday, Thanksgiving or Christmas all the time!
Thanksgiving images courtesy of wikipedia. org public domain