Matters of Spirit

Spiritual and Esoteric writings in the manner of Light Workers. A sharing of spiritual and self empowerment concepts and philosophies. "My purpose is to endlessly encourage you to do and become whatever makes your heart sing." ~ Shirl

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Location: Blackfoot, Idaho, United States

I live in rural Idaho with my dear soul family, Kebbie, Layne and Gabe.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Season of Gratitude

In two weeks or so most of us will celebrate Thanksgiving. Most of us are and have been focused on our daily tasks and concerns of the day to day journey.
Perhaps, if you are willing, you might wish to shift that focus to one of Thanks. A time of thanks and gratitude for all that we have, even those of us who might think we have very little. It is my hope that we may learn to live our every moment in gratitude for the abundance of our lives.

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I received this email from a dear friend of mine today. She and her husband have been in the US for the past 6 years. The job they were doing for their German company in New York has ended, but they decided to stay and take another job and become US citizens.

Her email follows, and please do yourself a favor and visit the movie link, it will lift your heart and your soul:

In Germany we do not celebrate Thanksgiving like here in the US. Since we do not have family here we are almost lost.

Watching the beautiful slides below makes me feel we are missing something

Thanksgiving Movie

This was my response to her and to any and all of you that may have mixed emotions or feelings of loneliness this time of year:

Now, let me tell you about Thanksgiving from my perspective.

As a child growing up it was a BIG family deal in our household as grandparents, aunts, uncles and all of the cousins alternated every year at different family homes to gather for this Holiday. Finally, there became too many of us to gather in one place.

I was never one who liked or understood holidays. For the most part, they seemed contrived, pretentious, and not at all connected to the "event" they claimed to celebrate. One stood out from all the rest. Thanksgiving. This one event, as our family enjoyed it, seemed to have real meaning and a gathering together in love and sharing to be thankful for all that we had. . .the "bounty of the harvest." It is the only one I have ever claimed. None of the others have much meaning for me at all, so I make my own holidays whenever the spirit moves me.

As I became a grown woman, and my life being somewhat on the fringes of what most deemed acceptable or worthwhile, I found myself as someone who truly loved the idea and purpose that I saw in Thanksgiving, without a family to share it with. I also became aware of the many lonely ones separated from their families with seemingly nowhere to go to enjoy a moment of thanks giving and family love. There were lots of such people in the gay community.

My good friend Bob and I decided that no one should be alone on this day if we could help it. We began a tradition in the early 70's of inviting as many of the community as we could accommodate and have our own "family" Thanksgiving day together. Those who had the means would offer to bring something to contribute to the meal, those who did not were just as welcome. We had several years of wonderful family times on Thanksgiving, plenty of great food to eat and a day filled with love and laughter for all.

The past 20 or so years, while I was working, I searched out my fellow co-workers that were alone or had no family they could gather with and cooked Thanksgiving dinner for them. A time of sharing my bounty and love and sense of family with everyone that felt they had no place to go. It built some wonderful friendships.

I have often been included in others family gatherings, and it is a really wonderful thing to share. Yet truly, some of the best Thanksgiving days ever, were those where I volunteered to assist at the Salvation Army's amazing feat of feeding the homeless, poor, infirm, elderly or any who just want and need a place to go for that day. The Salvation Army in Idaho Falls feeds 1500 or more every year. They can always use help in cooking, serving, transporting those without means to get there, donations of money or a turkey, etc. It is a wonderful way to spend the day.

So, do not feel left out. Find a way to create your own Thanksgiving tradition. It is about showing your gratitude for all you have. Even if it is just you and your hubby and dog. Ask around at the book stores or in the group of people you have been at gatherings with if there is anyone they know that is alone or unable to get to family or friends for the day. Or see if you might want to volunteer to help at a shelter or with the Salvation Army as they do the amazing job of feeding so many that are in need. These people not only need the food and company, they need someone to talk to them, someone who cares, someone filled with love, like you and hubby. If that feels like something you might want to do, then think about it.

As far as the traditional Turkey dinner. . .it doesn't have to be. It can be any type of meal that is a favorite, or that fits the budget. One close friend has switched in the last couple of years to Prime Rib for her family dinner. It is just as wonderful. Even a cheese sandwich shared with some who need to be in your love and light is a wonderful experience, and I have had a few of those over the years as well.

Thanksgiving is a state of mind. It is an attitude of the heart. It is sharing your bounty and your gratitude with others. That is what I love about this celebration. Make it a celebration that you love. It can look like anything you wish it to look like. It is just the gratitude and the love that matter. The origins of this celebration were just the deep gratitude of having had a crop harvest that would sustain them. The gratitude for survival, which was a pretty desperate and iffy thing in the early settlement of this country. It doesn't and shouldn't have to be considered an American Holiday. It should be a Holiday of the Heart.

If nothing else, go to a Park and feed the birds and squirrels. Share what you have in gratitude for all that you have.

[Traditional Thanksgiving family gatherings can also be fraught with dramas and family group dynamics that can be less than enjoyable. It is what you choose to do with those potentials that matters. Set aside the hard feelings and perceived slights and disagreements that can and do often arise. Just make it a day of loving each other, and finding the best in each one. Do not focus on past or difficult times. Focus on Love and sharing. It will be the experience you wish it to be, if you are filled with love, gratitude and an attitude of forgiveness. Set everything that is not loving and joyful aside for just this one day.]

My gratitude for all of you and what you add to my life is included in my celebration of Thanks. May each of you enjoy a wonderful season of sharing and love.


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