Yeah, you've got one of THESE essays again.
Essays about "Surviving Thanksgiving" are all over the place.
Folks, this isn't a big deal. It's showing up with people you haven't seen in a while or with people you've never met. You're there to offer cordiality and kindness. This is not the emotional equivalent to the Ironman Triathlon.
Articles like this talk about time, interaction, personalities, good conversation topics, the difference between assault and manslaughter, the comparable launch velocity between a Turkey Leg and a handful of stuffing, and whether or not Pumpkin Pie can serve as a good weapon (hint: depends on how long it's been out of the oven.)
I've been writing last week and this about the concept of Wu-Wei, and I think Thanksgiving is a great way to apply the attitude of "Go With The Flow" to each encounter. It gives you, as I've mentioned, a step by step guideline to interpersonal interaction. You can look back at the essays last week for the outline of what all those steps can do and how they're applied.
But the emotional foundation on which this rests amounts to one word: Acceptance.
Let things rest. Go with the flow. Be just fine with whatever condition presents itself.
Accept that the sweet potatoes taste like last week's newspapers. Just take a bite and smile. Accept that your brother has interesting opinions on politics, then nod your head. Accept that you are with people that are there not for your approval, but for your company, and you for theirs.
Accept that you may not be heard. It's OK to be quiet. Accept that the TV is drowning out the conversation. It's OK to listen to what the atmosphere offers.
Accept that you may be uncomfortable and unfamiliar with the environment. It's an opportunity to concentrate on your breathing, drawing forth the calm in your spirit, and smiling at those you've just met.
And accept that you are meeting people for the first time, whether you grew up with them or whether you've just been introduced. The newness of one another offers a wonderful opportunity to admire, observe, and get to know one another again.
Thanksgiving is a statement of offering Gratitude. Gratitude facilitates Acceptance.
And Acceptance flows into Gratitude. A Circle of Ease.
This is the natural state of the day. Live this day well.
Enjoy it with all your heart and spirit.