Thanksgiving

The holidays bring lots of family, friends, gifts, meals, and...depression. There are many for whom the holidays are harbingers of remembered pain. A parent who made the holidays terrifying. A spouse whose holiday activities tore the family into pieces. Those memories can make the holidays into times of suffering and pain.

How to survive if you are one for whom the holidays bring such memories? I may have a couple of suggestions.

In The Canterbury Tales, a nun carries a banner with this emblazened on it: Amor Omnia Vincit. (Love conquers all) That is a great place to start.

If you can center yourself on the fact of God's love, you will begin to see creation in its proper order: with our loving Father God in the center. This image is how things are supposed to be in the Kingdom of God. Despite those who hurt us, the fact of God's love can be a great and a healing influence.

Second, if you can simply avoid those who hurt you or cause holiday disturbances. Despite the fact that family tradition may make your decision seem strange to others, it is not necessary to fulfill traditions which cause us to be constantly hurt. Go to some other friend's thanksgiving dinner. Just don't invite drunken old cousin Bill who ruins every gathering. In time, your family will come to understand that it is not necessary to fulfill the crazy needs of the family member whose role seems that of persecutor.

Third, fill the season with prayer. If you can center yourself in God, the season will become clearer as a season of praise and thanksgiving. This will enable you to begin to distance yourself from those who hurt.

If these things don't work, call me. We'll discuss your particular problem and see if we can come up with a good solution.

Happy Thanksgiving, and may God Bless you.

Curtis Rivers
11/23/10

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