When I am grateful for someone or something, I find it difficult to remain angry at the same time. The holidays are quickly approaching, and with it, sometimes very interesting and conflicting family gatherings. Here are a couple of Thanksgiving tips.
First, create a list of people, including some of those prickly family members, who you might see during the holidays. After each name, write some positive attributes linked to their name. A person who often can come across as critical may have a positive attribute of attention to detail. In reality, every positive attribute has a corresponding weakness. The reverse is also true. Every weakness often has a corresponding positive attribute. The problem? Unresolved conflict has clouded our perception of the person. I will grant you, this can be a challenging exercise with some people. However, after mediating hundreds of cases involving families, I have yet to meet someone with an evil heart or evil intent.
Second, once you have your list, write a note to them. Thank the person for his or her positive attribute. Rarely are people thanked for WHO they ARE. Most people write a note of thanks to someone for what he or she has DONE. A thank you note for a gift, or a dinner, is common. A thank you note to celebrate a positive attribute of someone is very rare, yet often most meaningful. People can expect a thank you note from giving a gift. They are often blown away by a note about who they are.
Third, before the family gathering which has been painful, hurtful, or chaotic in the past, mediate on your list of positive attributes. if you create a peaceful place in your soul related to other people, you will be surprised how things that rattled you before can be overlooked or confronted in a more positive manner. You allow others the power to steal your joy and peace. This Thanksgiving, let an attitude of gratitude permeate the family gathering. Thanksgiving can beat anger.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Genesis! If we can help you create more peace in your life, family, or workplace, give us a call.