Happy Thanksgiving! November 23, 2011
I love this holiday.
Not because of what it’s supposed to represent, because I see right through the Hallmarkification of what was a supremely bad deal for the Native Americans, illustrations of happy Pilgrims shaking hands with happy Indians notwithstanding. Ahem.
No, I love Thanksgiving because I really believe that most Americans actually get with some gratitude over the days surrounding this holiday.
Maybe not so much once the cocktails start to flow and the football game goes on, but before that– that gratitude that comes in the way we have to make peace with horrifically long lines at the supermarket, and with knowing we’ll have plenty of “opportunities to practice our program” with the irksomeness of those family members who know right where our buttons are.
Lots of opportunities to think on all the ways we’re actually quite blessed.
This holiday actually gets us to think, even if only for a few minutes (perhaps while on that long line at the grocery store?) , about all we have to be grateful for. Like our health, our money, our homes, each other.
That’s more than I can say for Christmas. If commercialization were snow, our Christmases would be the equivalent of a blinding blizzard. Ever been in one of those? You can literally get lost and die walking around in circles, freezing to death because you can’t see ten inches in front of you.
Christmas is like that, in that it has so much commercial “noise” around it, so many messages to buy, spend, procure, and then buy some more even if you think you’ve bought enough already, that it’s a veritable orgy of shopping. The true message of Christmas easily gets buried.
I have my sincere doubts that pensive reflections on what the birth of Jesus actually means to us occurs much, if at all, around that holiday. Well, maybe for a nano-second if we’re the type to go to Church on or around Christmas.
But other than that, no. Christmas feels like an increasingly-obscene foray into the deep end of the pool of consumerism. Then again, I live in the Bermuda triangle (quadrangle?) between the Four B’s: Bloomingdale’s, Barney’s, Bergdorf’s and Bendels, each an emporium of finery that begs me to buy!
This year I’m saying no, and focusing on the true gifts, the gifts of the Spirit in my life.
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But, I digress. I wanted to talk about Thanksgiving, and what I’m grateful for, so what better way than elaborating all that I feel blessed with this year…all my many blessings:
I am grateful for all the PoSAs, the women who struggle in recovery from the horrors of repeated betrayals, deceptions and rejections in their partnerships with sex addicts. I am grateful to them for doing the hard work of standing strong in their search for their own value, their own sense of connection to themselves, regardless of what the sex addict does or doesn’t do.
I am grateful for how incredibly difficult that is to do, in a culture that teaches us our value as women is primarily in our youthfulness, our “hotness”, our being in the hip crowd if we say YES to all things hypersexual, and that we too, can be as loose as we want to be, just like “one of the boys”. Y-E-A-H!
I am grateful to the PoSAs who buck that tide and keep finding their roots in the richer soil of true knowingness….of our wisdom, our connection with Spirit, and with each other. The rich soil which nurtures our true beauty. May we have the strength to stay the course!
I am grateful to all those men (and women) in recovery who struggle mightily with the Lust Monster every single day in a culture that increasingly tells them they’re missing out big-time on great opportunities if they’re not acting on all the lust urges. I am grateful that they are choosing to get/ stay in integrity sexually in a culture that sells actual connection with one’s partner so short as to practically dismiss it altogether. Thank you to all you good men and women in recovery from addiction!
I am so very grateful to all the healers, therapists, counselors and ministers who hold the lamps for us.
Right now, I’m especially grateful to Dr. Bill Bercaw who never stops inspiring me to keep taking risks and in doing so, helps me to find my own humanity. And to Nancy Napier, who champions me and keeps me honest even during the times I kick and scream all the way. To Rev. Diane Berke, Ph.D., a true Light in this world.
Thank you to the founder of the sex addiction recovery movement, Dr. Patrick Carnes, for coming to New York City some weeks ago and inspiring so many of us with your candor, humor and wisdom.
To Dr. Omar Minwalla, for championing the Trauma Model for PoSAs.
To Dr. Robert Jensen for your generous gift of time in sharing your wisdom with me this year.
I am immensely grateful to my crew, who make my work on PoSARC not only possible, but especially enjoyable:
Terre Spencer, teacher, coach extraordinaire, inspiratrice, visionary, and fierce advocate of women, children and anyone who struggles with the malady of our times, addiction, and the sickness it spreads to all in its’ awesome forcefields. You understand this better than anyone I know and I honored to work alongside you.
Jeffrey Miller, our tech guru, who just keeps showing up and doing the often not-so-fun work of making a thousand and one changes to our site and tweaking, fixing, rearranging and oh yes, reminding me that once again, another blogpost is overdue. Thank you for your selfless giving, Jeff!
Joanna Seetoo, our social media guru, who keeps her finger on the news pulse and who keeps growing our followers, helping us get the word out to any and all who need it. Thank you, Joanna!
Thank you to Linda Rottmann, who while not officially “on staff” here at PoSARC, nonetheless adds immeasurable value to PoSARC and to me personally with her feedback and constant encouragement.
I am grateful to all the many who write to me every day. Your e-mails are my bread for the journey, the reason and the reminder of why I keep doing this work despite the attendant dangers of doing so: depression, burn-out, a culture that largely says NO to our message. You inspire me to not only keep going, but to get bigger, louder and more visible. You have let me know we are a growing and increasingly vocal community of those who see where we want to go, and are committed to changing what we can.
I am grateful for my clients who come and paradoxically, give me strength and courage through my holding space for them to find and nurture their own. The gifts they bring are innumerable and I see in them tomorrow’s leaders of change. I am especially grateful to those with young children, who are dedicated to ensuring that tomorrow’s generation grows up having connected their hearts, minds and spirits with their physical bodies. For teaching them that these ‘components’ work best when together!
And always, to Michael in whom I delight. Thank you for your help at PoSARC and for being one of the truly good men who inspire me daily with your innate nobility.
In closing, I am even grateful to the naysayers, the ‘haters’ who basically wish I would disappear and aren’t shy about expressing that, even in public forums. Thank you for providing the sand…. though it irritates and chafes, it is that against which I will polish myself until I am a lustrous and magnificent pearl. Without you, I’d be safe in my little oyster, happily private and quiet and doing not much of anything important. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And though this isn’t the Grammys, I want to thank God for the protection, guidance and the everyday inspiration I ask for and always unyieldingly receive…….all glory to God for the many gifts that are in my life this Thanksgiving Day.
I pray in gratitude of our blessings so we can all continue to add our light, and do our work, whatever work we’ve come here to do.