I hope your week was awesome and Thanksgiving enjoyable!
 
Mine was peaceful and healing, and very special.
 
As we drove back from Cincinnati (where we spent Thanksgiving with family), I asked my mom what I should write about in this morning’s email.
 
She said: “Write about why eating hot dogs from a gas station is a bad idea.”
 
I laughed. I had told her not to buy it, but she had insisted that it was American tradition and went ahead, ending up with an upset stomach.
 
“No seriously, what should I write about?” I asked again.
 
“Cows,” she said in her most pensive voice as she looked out at the Kentucky pastures we were passing.
 
I laughed again. My mom likes to be silly. And she loves to make me laugh.
 
But then she looked at me and said: “Write about the beautiful Thanksgiving dinner we just had.”
 
She went on saying how impressed she was with wonderful food – but even more so with how many different people were there – three generations of Camerons, the Appiagyeis from Ghana, a Croatian ‘baka’ (grandma), and one David Langley :). She added how much we all missed Matthew and how strongly we felt his joyous spirit among us.
 
Yes, I thought, what a blessing and a gift, and joy it is when a family sets up a long long table at which everyone is welcomed and no one is forgotten. A table where there is always a way to add more chairs, where space is held for those who are no longer with us, where love is shared, fun memories are awakened, and where tears and laughter aren’t held back. A table where the shared food becomes a medicine for grief and brings healing.
 
As I drove and reflected on this, I thought of many people who are struggling with rejection and nonacceptance, whose families aren’t setting such tables any more. I thought those who had been hurt so deep that they vowed they would never open their hearts again and come to the table. I thought of those who stay away out of fear for being judged and block out the opportunities to experience the opposite and of those who shut their hearts to love after loss and never let go of grief.
 
The thing is, a family can only offer a table of healing and joy if everyone shows up with an open heart and willing to partake in love and acceptance of each other.
 
If we show up with fear and doubt, then it’s fear and doubt that will also sit at the table. If we show up with resentment and expectation, those will inevitably be served as well.
 
They will sit like a lump in our throat and make every bite hard to swallow. And if we don’t even show up, we will miss all of it – the good and the bad.
 
But when we do show up with Love, we add it to the wonderful spread and make it even more abundant.
 
Showing up with such Love – that contains no judgment, or self-righteous expectations – takes faith, reflection, prayer, awareness, and self-growth. It takes processing and healing of our wounds, so we don’t hold fear, anger and doubt inside and carry them wherever we go.
 
And this process is not a one-time thing that we do and ‘master.’ It needs to become as much of a daily practice as brushing teeth, walking or drinking enough water.
 
Now that Advent is starting (tomorrow), pick up this practice. Spend each day in silence – pause to-do lists, errands and shopping plans – and do some inner work (it can be a few minutes at a time – what matters is how mindful you are in that time period).
 
If you need a bit of inspiration, you can download a digital copy of 25 Gifts for Christmas (reflections will start tomorrow and will continue for 25 days till Christmas.) You can purchase it here (for only $7.99), or listen to the free sample here.

Tatiana “Tajci” Cameron is an award-winning music artist, published author, inspirational speaker, and certified transformational and spiritual life coach.

She has many passions and is dedicated to helping others while also creating an enriched life for herself and her three sons. When Tajci is not on the road performing gigs, she volunteers with local organizations dear to her heart, spends time with loved ones (often involving music!), and collaborates with other artists to bring creative projects to life.

Tajci’s most recent projects include a meditation CD, an annual retreat & sea cruise in Croatia (that she organizes and hosts), and a multimedia CD/book (Un)Broken: Songs My Father Taught Me.

 

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