By Alex Urbina
Far too often we look forward to having an incredible Thanksgiving with the people that we love most, only to be disappointed with the outcome. We spend weeks visualizing this amazing day where every one of our family members comes together to share our love and gratitude for one another; when it’s finally over, we realize that it looked nothing like the way we expected it to.
Those of us that really know the magic that Thanksgiving Day can bring to the family experience, yearn for it every year. We try to figure out how to re-produce and re-create those enchanting feelings of connectedness, gratitude, and appreciation for each other; we are always looking for the blessings that have been bestowed upon us.
Little do we remember, or often we forget, that other people may not quite see Thanksgiving the same way that we do. They may not be as committed to creating the same kind of experience; and therefore, do not play their part in duplicating the perfect Thanksgiving that you were hoping for.
This leaves us with only one option, since we cannot control other people’s thoughts, feelings, perceptions and choices. We get to use the only tools that we do have control over: our own thoughts, our own feelings, our own perceptions and our own choices.
This Thanksgiving we get to choose to surrender trying to be in control of it. Letting go of all the expectations we have previously created about how it “should” look, we get to let Thanksgiving unfold the only way it can – the way it does.
We can also choose to let go of the past just long enough for us to be present and in the moment to fully enjoy this Thanksgiving without comparing it to any other one.
But ultimately, our own true power can only come from one other tool that we have control over: our perception. Choose to interpret every moment of your Thanksgiving as a blessing. Choose to see all the goodness in whatever it is that you choose. Create appreciation on this day with whatever you have and with whomever you are with.
Choose to see all the things that are “right” about this glorious day, rather than all the things that are “wrong” with it.
Remember that through your perception you are the meaning maker to all of it; you are the one deciding what is “good,” “bad,” “right” and “wrong.” You’re the one making up what “should” happen and what “shouldn’t” happen. You’re making up what you “do” like and what you “don’t” like; as well as what you “do” agree with and what you “don’t” agree with.
So, if you are the “meaning maker” to all that you perceive in life, then there should be no reason why you don’t have the most amazing, loving and extraordinary Thanksgiving ever. If all else fails, just remember that Thanksgiving is about being grateful; choose to be grateful in every moment of the day and you will surely have the most perfect Thanksgiving.
Alex Urbina is one of the leading experts on Teen, Parent and Family Relationships. His vast experience in human potential and personal development has made him one of the premier Family Life Coaches in Personal Transformation and an international trainer.
Alex’s experiential Life Leadership Trainings are being implemented in various schools, youth organizations and Transformational Centers in the country, helping empower people to discover their personal power and realize their full potential.
Alex is a resident of the Santa Clarita Valley and has a weekly radio show called “ Life Leadership” brought to you by SCVi Charter School, on your Hometown Station AM1220 KHTS every Monday at 1pm, to continue to educate yourself on teen & family relationships.