A Thanksgiving for Healing

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A Thanksgiving for Healing
In this issue...
A Thanksgiving for Healing
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Stepping Stones
Issue #153
Do you have a friend whose Millennial has boomeranged home? Please let her know about our book, Whose Couch Is It Anyway? And you can share this Stepping Stones by clicking the black "Forward to a Friend" link on the bottom left of this newsletter. 
         Rosemary and Phyllis
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A Thanksgiving for Healing
When you come to the Thanksgiving table this year, are you ready to let the healing begin?  Now that this blistering election is over, Americans are faced with a task even more difficult than electing a President - we have to heal our fractured country.
This election, with its flawed candidates, unearthed major rifts in friendships and families as sides were drawn and opinions hardened. Now we must come together and respect the democratic process that brought us our new leader. President-elect Donald Trump, Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama have all spoken graciously about the need to unite as Americans and work together in service to our nation.
We have overcome past times of tragedy and hate that threatened to separate us into bitter enemies. We can recover our balance now as well. With some resilience, we will strengthen our nation as we reach out to family and friends who supported different candidates. It will take time and effort. But it is a challenge we can undertake, by using these four methods:
Plan ahead. Be proactive and take responsibility to begin the process of reconciliation, even before Thanksgiving. You might decide to express forgiveness for the actions of others or apologize for your own behaviors. When you acknowledge that there is more than one perspective, you'll find it easier to give up your knee-jerk reactions that can be counter-productive to maintaining your bonds.
Practice conflict resolution techniques. Use these valuable communication tools to reconcile with those who disagree with you. Be empathic and really listen in the hopes of understanding. When you respond, avoid anger or sarcasm as you send 'I messages.' Stay away from name-calling. Look for areas of agreement in your opinions and search for positions on which you can come to a compromise.
Avoid taking the bait. When someone pushes your buttons, take a deep breath and work to deflect your initial reaction. Instead of being drawn into another argument, defuse the tension and walk away from any confrontation. You may have triggers from the past that are still affecting you, but try to resolve them so they don't impact your personal relationships today.
Express your gratitude. Especially at Thanksgiving, let your loved ones know how much you value them, even though you didn't appreciate their support for a particular candidate. You can be grateful for their presence in your life, without always agreeing with their choices. Both your mood and those around you will be buoyed by the focus on your thankfulness. A hug and healing touch can bring a sense of camaraderie you haven't felt lately.
Be patient. After over a year and a half of dysfunctional and painful interactions, it's unrealistic to expect that the process of healing will be simple or easy. You can't control the behavior of those around you but you can decide to control your own reactions.
When the task of uniting the country fell to President Abraham Lincoln, he proclaimed a national Thanksgiving celebration for all, hoping to begin a process of renewal, reconciliation and growth. If we come together as a country, we can reduce our collective stress and achieve the kind of future for our children and grandchildren that we all desire. Let's work as one to make that happen during this holiday season and into 2017.
We personally have a lot to be thankful for and you, our loyal readers, are at the top of the list. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday! 
© Her Mentor Center, 2016  
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HerMentorCenter provides information, support and direction for women. We are here to support you as you nourish your family relationships.
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