I spent part of my day yesterday with my in-laws and like a lot of other people, I’m sure that they see that as the mixed “blessing” that I do. You don’t get to choose your family, and you also don’t get to choose your in-laws; they just happen to be related to your spouse. So, when I need to spend time with them, I try to ignore the bad (excessive drinking) and concentrate on the good (they make pretty good food and their house is clean and organized beyond belief). I would truly like to take lessons in organization from my brother-in-law. And their kitchen! What can I say, it’s about three times the size of mine. What a lot of cupboards they have…however, I wouldn’t want to clean it, as it’s all white. As I said, clean clean clean.
Thanksgiving is all about family, and even if we can’t choose the families that we have, we need to find the good in others. Sometimes the good can be as simple as someone being a good provider for their family, or being a loving mother. Even if their treatment of you isn’t as you’d wish it, if they are loving to their immediate family members, that’s what they can do, and it’s a valid and good choice. Besides, where would we be if we didn’t practice love of others in the face of intolerance and/or indifference?
Every Thanksgiving I look ahead to the day with dread in my heart. I make my contributions of chili and pie; and try to attend with peace in my mind, and love in my heart. Sometimes that’s enough, and sometimes I leave feeling with that sickness in my soul that indicates a sleepless night is lying ahead of me.
You can’t change other people. You can only change how you react to them. Try to bring love and peace to those you interact with. That’s the only change you can make.