Thanksgiving Miracle. I did it!

      I did it! I made room for a Miracle!

Is it arrogant of me to say that I had anything to do with creating a miracle? Isn’t that blasphemous to claim personal creative power, that only God – or saints – have anything to do with miracles?

Well, read on and make your own judgment.

Here’s the story, starting with the miracle:

I’m sitting at a festive table in a warm home in a southern Ohio nature sanctuary.
I’m sharing Thanksgiving dinner in a place where my heart sings, feeling loved and accepted just as I am, with family and friends who enjoy my company and who had warmly invited me over. We’re sharing food I love that suits my preferences perfectly! After dinner, we chat for a while, then we play my favorite game, a game that guides us to safely and humorously connect with each other, affirming our uniqueness. Everyone feels good about themselves and each other . That’s pretty miraculous, as Thanksgivings go.

Let me confess that Thanksgiving has often been a big “Story” time for me. Can you relate? For many years, sometimes more than others, I’ve felt anxious about Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t always be invited. I felt different from everyone and on edge about my views of the world. I didn’t enjoy the traditional American food but thought I should eat it anyway. I would bring side dishes I wanted and eat alone. I would listen to others complain and criticize world events or other relatives and feel distant and alone in my views. Sometimes I would be so judgmental about the whole idea of feasting – and overeating -on turkey, and spending time with closed minded people that I would consider skipping the whole thing! Then, I would feel guilty for not being grateful and go anyway, pretending to enjoy myself.

Sounds pretty miserable and lonely, and self-centered, huh?

So, it makes sense that this year’s celebration would feel miraculous! How did that happen? What made this year different than before?

Well, here’s what I think.

It’s about three weeks before Thanksgiving and I’m visiting my mom. I’ve been hiking in Ohio and staying with her for two weeks while going out on day hikes near her house. It’s been years since I’ve been with her for so long, but earlier this year I divorced my husband and sold my house. I’m grateful that I can stay with her AND do some hiking at the same time. She says that she appreciates the company too.

“What are your plans for Thanksgiving?” I ask.
“I’m going to Anita’s,” Mom replies. “She’s having her family’s gathering for the first time this year. Her mom said that she’s not doing it anymore. I’m getting a tablecloth that fits the big table.” Anita is my sister-in-law who lives across a field from my mom. The big table is the odd-sized family table from my parents’ old house. My mom used to custom make the table cloths for it.

“Great!” I say. “That should be fun!”

I wait for the conversation to continue. She’ll say, “What are your plans?” or “Oh! You’ll be here too, so you could join the family too!” or something like that.

She doesn’t say anything! I move on to researching the next trail section.
Inside, though, I’m burning! “Why didn’t she include me or ask me about my own plans? I haven’t been with her for years and now she’s ignoring me!” My mind goes into overload with all the reasons, the blame, the shame. This is a big deal! I’m not invited for Thanksgiving with my mom!

Memories of past Thanksgivings flood my mind! It’s happening again!
I’m not included! I guess I don’t matter! There must be something wrong with me!
It could be just like my past, stuck in an unhappy drama of self doubt and judgment and blame that drains my energy and separates me from my family. I could isolate myself, stop speaking to her. I would stuff down those feelings, put on a happy face and pretend that everything was just fine and go on my hike and just be alone for Thanksgiving. So there!
Screeech! Stop! Wait! I don’t have to do this any more. I have something that can help me. Now is a perfect time to reach for my emotional toolbox. It’s time for a new twist to this drama. It’s time for

Radical Forgiveness!

I’ve been using Radical Forgiveness worksheets, the four steps, and the thirteen steps for several years now. Using these simple questions and statements, I have often experienced lightness and freedom and definitely more peace and self acceptance. Radical Forgiveness even helped me go ahead with my divorce feeling confident and accepting.
Would it work NOW?!

Would it even work on the dreaded Thanksgiving Drama?!!! Could this process live up to its subtitle of “Making Room for the Miracle”?

I listened to the 13-Steps recording. I felt those feelings of blame, sadness, separation, loneliness. Tears welled up and I held my hand over my belly where the feelings seemed to be located. At Step 9, “Do you realize you’re doing a healing dance with the other person?” I nodded my head and said, “Yes” and my belly relaxed.
And Step 12. “Notice when the thoughts you had at the beginning, the ones that were attached to the feelings, have lost their charge.”

“Hmm. I thought. Maybe it’s not my mom’s privilege to invite me. Maybe Anita is already overloaded with having over 20 people for dinner. Maybe I’d rather be doing something else anyway. Maybe it doesn’t mean all those things I was thinking.” The thoughts I had at the beginning HAD lost their charge.

I surrendered in Step 13 to my Higher Self and to letting the situation unfold according to a Divine Plan.
I did feel lighter and more open to possibilities. Maybe I COULD even create something myself that would be generous and inclusive and special. Hmm. Hadn’t thought of that before, when my beliefs of unacceptance and unworthiness and criticism and blame had filled me.

The next day, my mom and Anita drop me and my hiking partner off on the Buckeye Trail about 40 miles from their homes. We’ll be backpacking from here for the next several weeks, not driving back to my mom’s house each night. I’m not thinking so much about Thanksgiving. I’m making new friends along the way, enjoying my favorite life of walking in Nature. I’m even doing the work I love by setting up coaching sessions while hiking.
Fast forward to five days before Thanksgiving. I’m talking with my sister on the phone. She’s on the road, driving back to Ohio from her seasonal position in Nebraska.

“I’m going to my friend, Norris’, arriving the day before Thanksgiving.”

“We’ll be pretty close to there too!”

I still don’t have a firm plan for the holiday. I’ve accepted that I won’t be with my mom.

“Wow! Maybe you could come be with us!” she says. “I’d love to see you! I’ll check with Norris.” Within 15 minutes, she calls back. “Norris says’ he’d love to have you. You can stay overnight and get a shower and sleep in a good bed. This will be fun. We’ll be fixing vegan dinner, lots of vegetables and fresh juice, and cranberry sauce sweetened with stevia.”

I smile. Here it is. This IS a miracle.

And it WAS a happy Thanksgiving. And, my mom even called to ask how the day was going.

So, did I create that miracle? Not necessarily.

I believe what I did do was indeed, make room for that miracle.
Here’s what I think. By noticing that I was stuck in my old story of blame and self-hatred, unworthiness and judgment then doing the 13 Steps, I enlisted my Higher Self. I opened up my own thinking to accept other possibilities and free others from my story. By staying open, not filling my schedule with plans of defeat and sabotage, I had room in my plans and in my heart for something wonderful to occur.

I believe that I made room for that miracle.

What do YOU think?

Please comment below!!

What’s your Thanksgiving story?

And, if Making Room for a Miracle is something you’d like to learn how to do, send me an email and let me know.
I can guide you.
I can do it over the phone, by email or Facebook messages, or in person.

Ready to make room for a miracle in your life?

Email me at regina@forgivenesswalks.com

Posted in Outreach.

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