Wednesday, November 23, 2011
At the same time, though there is much that I am grateful for, I struggle deeply with the holiday that is before us - Thanksgiving! I love gatherings of people that I love and even more so when there is great food involved. But just as I believe that we must look deeply at our own personal pain and suffering, I believe the same is needed to look deeply at the pain and suffering that exists in the history of this country. Over the past decade and a half, as I've learned the stories that make up the beginning of this nation, stories of it's formation that are the foundation of all the systems, processes and deeply held attitudes and beliefs, I see tragedy, betrayal, lies, deep suffering and much much more. We must acknowledge that this holiday, even though it presently embodies family togetherness, deep gratitude, warm connections and sharing and love, and wonderful food, it is based on a dark, greed filled tragedy and masacre of the native people who were living here when the founders of this country arrived. If we do not embrace the true nature of this holiday, we cannot embrace ourselves wholly. I will link to a few other blogs and articles that explain in much more detail, not for the faint of heart, so that we can face and embrace the truth that lies beneath the sugar coated holiday we all know about.
I do NOT mean that we cannot enjoy being with our loved ones, enjoy delicious food (in mindful moderation!) and create fabulous memories on Thanksgiving. BUT, I think a great practice, even if it's just our own personal practice is to take a few moments of silence or in meditation, giving deep thanks to the millions of souls that lost their lives tragically as part of the formation of this country. I also plan on expressing hope for the souls in the present day who are currently forming this country into what it will become to find deep mindfulness. Ultimately, I think having conversations with our families and others about the true history of Thanksgiving will lead to a transformation of consciousness that could ultimately lead to a transformation in how we honor our past.
I am grateful for everyone who takes the time to read this blog! For my amazing husband and daughter! My parents and sisters. The family that I gained through my wonderful marriage! My extended family! I have so much gratitude for our house, my husbands employment, the food on our table and the love in our hearts! I give thanks for the universe and all the gifts I have received!
Breathe. Remember. Embrace. Love. Give Thanks!
In Gratitude, to the native people of this land who lost their lives, their land and part of their heritage and spirit as it was stolen. In Gratitude to the African slaves torn from their homeland forced to work to build this country from the ground up.
This is one of the best articles I found that express and explain what I am referring to in this post: http://www.serendipity.li/hr/cohen.htm
You could also check out Howard Zen's A People's History of the United States.
The image for this post is from Michelle Meiklejohn's profile on Free Digital Photos.