Away from the cooling fall air, a fire crackles in the fireplace and the table is set with candles and neatly folded napkins. The fragrant scent of turkey and dressing wafts through the room enticing all those who have passed up lunch to wait for its arrival. The announcement is proudly made from the kitchen and only after an appropriate number of kudos and ahs does everyone gather at the table to give thanks on this special holiday. We give thanks for the program, our host and host and the fine table set before us. Some offer thanks for their successes and the challenges all of which provided new opportunities for growth. Yet, we can miss giving thanks for the greatest blessing of all – the gift of each other.
There is infinite wisdom in your conscious and unconscious choice of those with whom you create both partnerships and friendships. They are each individually a mirror and reflection of your soul. Just as there are colorful, creative and intricate dishes set upon the table, there are also colorful, creative and intricate choices in our friendships and mates. They reflect back to us both who we are and who we are becoming. After you have taken in the scents and visually enjoyed the culinary delights set upon the table, perhaps you can take a moment to reflect on the diversity and beauty in your choices of life partners and friends seated at the table. Let me share what my picture looks like on Thanksgiving.
Somewhat removed from the flurry of dishes being passed I can usually sit back and first notice my son J.D. He is the part of me that still thinks all things are possible, sort of an “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” kind of guy whose commitment got him through earthquakes and rain storms to make sure I was OK. We both know no matter what the obstacle, we would be there for each other when necessary.
Across the table my friend Jan scoops potatoes on to her plate and I think of how her childlike antics put me more in touch with the child inside of me who never learned how to play. My inner child was too busy dealing with an alcoholic mother and an abusive father until Jan came into my life and gave my inner child permission to come out. Before Jan, she was hidden and hesitant, too fearful to play with anyone.
At the end of the table sits Elaine, talking a bit too loud and acting a bit too self-assured. She is the part of me that was still afraid she is not quite enough and over compensates for her uneasiness in groups. Beside her sits Randy. Randy reflects back to me the spiritual side of myself. He reflects my Higher Self, that knowing part of me that is connected beyond words and explanations to the Divine.
At the other end of the table, my friend Lauren carries on an in-depth philosophical conversation with David. Lauren reflects the part of me that spirals with intellectual exploration and thrives on unanswered questions. David! Ah David, the part of me that still carries unresolved anger about what I didn’t have as a child. Then there are my other two children Lauren and Mia. Lauren is the creative part of me that loves making things and being artistic. Mia, is the part of me who is profoundly on the path to Spirit and loves the challenge of learning. At one end of the table, you may have a mate. That’s the beloved person in your life who constantly reflects back to you the parts of you that are seen as beautiful, lovable and worthy of being cherished.
This incredible group of people, even as it changes, always reflects back to me my own soul’s growth in living color. There sitting at my table was the perfect picture of all the ways I had chosen to grow and not grow. Each person at that table was my teacher, my guide and I was grateful for their courage and willingness to be part of my life lesson. Each one had made the decision to enter the process of relationship with me. Each was willing to look at the ways in which he or she closed down, defended against and opened again to all we might share. Thanks to their courage and mine, we were all learning a great deal about ourselves. I have often said that I know I could go to sit on a mountain and achieve enlightenment. In doing so, I would not be helping the world a wit, nor would I have any inkling of how my own human soul was evolving. Until I enter into relationship with each of these precious people, I have no way of knowing about my judgments, my invulnerability’s, my fear, my need for sameness, my openness or my courage.
I am constantly amazed at how once we become conscious and aware, life speaks to us so clearly. There are no coincidences, no accidents. There is only life, trying repeatedly through each relationship to teach us more about ourselves. Perhaps this Thanksgiving, you too can begin to see with a more conscious vision as you sit at your holiday table. Perhaps, you will quietly accept that each person before you is an integral part, a perfect reflection of who you are. Perhaps you too will silently give thanks. Better yet, say it to them out loud and have a great Thanksgiving!
© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013