Gratitude: What You Focus on, Grows

This is that time of year in the U.S. where we have a holiday specifically geared toward being thankful.

Regrettably, many times we become too focused on family dramas, cooking, cleaning, and other concerns and often leave the part out where we remember what the holiday is all about.

I remember the Thanksgiving where I suggested we all go around the table and say one thing we were thankful for and being "poo pooed" for even thinking such a thing.

In these modern times, mixed family dynamics often don't have the closeness or the opportunity to even take a moment and really see one another.

We are concerned with which parent has the kids, when and where is the transfer point, who is working and who isn't, who is bringing what, is this person contributing or helping out enough, what in the world was that person thinking when they chose that outfit, etc etc. (to my family members who are probably not reading this anyway so I am most likely safe: I was not thinking of you specifically when I chose these examples.)

Here is a thought. You know that family member you struggle to connect with, or perhaps, just tolerate during the holidays or maybe all of the time? Stop for a moment. Think of one quality that person has that is amazing! Everyone has one! Look at that person in your mind's eye and send them love and appreciation for being alive, for contributing to the family, even if the contribution is limited. If you can't think of one thing, then think of them as a soul. They are a spark of Divine energy. Their Divinity may be hidden to themselves or others, but they have it.

Last week tragedy struck our family. The father to one of my grandchildren was taken from us in a freak car accident. He left behind two children and two step children. He was a good father to my granddaughter and considered my grandson his own even though he and my daughter had long since decided they were better friends than a couple. The night before he passed, my daughter and the kids enjoyed the la