Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the holiday, May your cupboards be full and your cups overflowing and may you find joy, warmth and connection as you share the day with your family, and kindred souls. I asked one of my pagan friends how he views thanksgiving, he said it’s about family, feasting and football for him, and celebrates with his non pagan friends, and regards Mabon as “spiritual” giving thanks. It seems to be the case for a number of us, and it’s more about what works in each person’s life than strict rules of doing this or that at specific times.
Talking about what works, our family and friends give us a sense of belonging and bonding that we may not receive in other areas of life, even if there is conflict involved. Holiday gatherings can be a battleground for unresolved issues, and you might be tempted to play therapist or mediator; however if neither party is willing to sit down and let go of would’ve, could’ve, should’ve and blame, there is really no room to create change. Actually that doesn’t just apply to family concerns, the same is true in any relationship, whether personal, public, work or spiritually oriented, anywhere and anytime people interact there is opportunity work together or tear apart what exists.
Personal issues aren’t really about the person being targeted, most of the time. We know that everything outside is a reflection of our inner world; so that person who just gets under your skin and triggers irritation and frustration in you is bringing something to your attention. We need to get to the root of why the person gets to us, and search for those aspects in our own make up. I believe that conflict is based in fear, hurt and misunderstanding, it only comes up when some inner need is not being met. During your life and processes of it, all kinds of people walk with you; each person is growing at a time and rate that works best for the individual. Some travellers identify with the victim label, often creating more situations where that energy manifests. Survivors acknowledge they have been to Hades and back, and it took every ounce of strength to keep going and wade through the murky waters, they have faced much of the inner pain and are working to rise above the issues it brings. The thriver’s have reached a new understanding, the situations that caused suffering were hard and took a lot of work to untangle, and other layers will likely come up at other times, however the experiences are part of the journey to becoming a compassionate, understanding being. Every person moves through these stages of inner work at their own time and pace, it’s not up to us to judge their progress.
We are often told by media and other sources that this pill, that course, even that person will heal all our hurts and issues. It’s an appealing fantasy, though the truth is that nobody else can do the personal work for us, though there are a number of people who may try, again with good intentions, yet also taking power away from the person who needs to heal. Don’t get me wrong, therapists, counsellors, mental health workers, support groups, sponsors and other professionals do have an important role in the healing journey, they are guides and helpers when the going is tough, holding the lantern when all you know is darkness and pain. When you make the commitment to becoming the best person you can be, it can be like a never ending archeological dig, you always find something else that needs to be explored, and carefully considered. Buried hurts come to the surface, bringing trapped pain and it will be intense at times, so please don’t be afraid to get help; you don’t have to do this alone. It means that you are expanding you consciousness to bring more love into your inner and outer worlds.
If you find yourself in the position of being obligated
to be at an event and you have some concerns about conflict, there are some things that can help. Grounding is good, when I’m in a situation where it’s really important for me to be centered and calm, I think about the qualities of boulders, the solid, strong stability and I bring that energy into my being. There are a number of semi precious stones that aid in grounding, most have strong associations with the root chakra as well, our energy center related to physical foundations, physical being and safety. Black obsidian, onyx, smoky quartz, tiger’s eye, red garnet and red jasper are all beneficial. My favorite grounding stone is hematite; it balances energy and soothes emotions, and promotes clear thinking and peace of mind. Some people believe the stone deflects energy and some think it actually absorbs and transmutes energy; in my experience hematite does both. As always it’s up to you and you may already have a crystal programmed to fulfill this role, remember to bring it with you.
Last but not least is breathing, our breath is a powerful tool, when we get tense everything contracts including our lungs, meaning short shallow breathing creates more constriction. When you feel that sense of being on edge, remember to breathe deeply and keep yourself expanded. I probably don’t need to mention that a sense of humor goes a long way; it’s a powerful force to deal with so many things!
May you all have wonderful days, where giving thanks for your blessings is just part of life, gratitude is an attitude, not something reserved for a specific day. Enjoy your journey and the companions along the way, appreciate each person is unique and on a path that may not always be in alignment with your own, after all it’s the curves and zigzags in life that keep it interesting!