Survival Guide

November 24, 2010

Survival Guide

Survival Guide

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of Happy Destiny”…

thanks |θa ng ks| |θøŋks| plural noun
• an expression of gratitude: festivals were held to give thanks for the harvest |
• a feeling of gratitude: they expressed their thanks and wished her well.
|θa ng k|verb [trans.]
• to express gratitude by saying “Thank you”: Robert gave thanks for the meal and left.

giving |giv’·ing| adjective
• to turn over control to someone without cost or exchange; to make a gift of
• to relay | pass along
• to have the tendency to give: Mary was a loving and giving person.

I’ve heard it said that recovery is a three-part process: Thanksgiving*, Christmas and New Year’s.

In order to navigate these minefields I need a “Survival Guide to the Holidays.” My Survival Guide starts with lists. Not the lists of Resentments I have carefully squirrelled away, nor the lists of Grievances I want resolved (or aired!), nor the list of “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” against which I plan to take up arms.

I was reminded by a friend today that holiday sanity starts with observing the name: “thanks-giving.” If I can make a list of Things to Give Thanks For (“gratitudes”), even grudgingly, I feel resentments (real or imagined) start to melt away.

When I list Things I Freely Forgive (whether I mean it or not isn’t critical) I feel my grievances lifting, and I remember the feeling of serenity.

When I list Things I Can Do to Be of Service (including acts that will not be found out), it’s in this giving that I experience the frightened, self-centered person inside of me diminish — as they say, “self-seeking will slip away.”

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! If things get rough, try Robert’s technique above (the final example for the word “thanks”).

Happy trails!

* PS Thanksgiving trivia – although primarily a North American holiday, there are countless other harvest festivals. Here are just a few of them…  Lughnasadh – Ireland [Celtic]; Dozynki (Poland); Guldize (Cornwall UK); Emtedank (Germany); Dongmaeng (Korea); Crop Over (Barbados); Pongal (India); Solung (Himalayas); Ikore (Nigeria); Khuado Pawi (Burma); Mehregan (Iran); Eid Al-Adha (Muslim); Niiname-sai (Japan).