Updated: Feb 5, 2021
It is almost Thanksgiving and my heart is writing from a deeply heavy place. I thought really long about writing this letter because to be honest I myself can’t handle another post about the current events of 2020. But after much thought, I realize the timing of this letter could possibly impact the direction of many conversations at Thanksgiving this year.
For months now I have sat in many sessions with individuals that lead to tears of disappointment, isolation, and loss. I have sat with males, females, fathers, mothers, children, white people, black people, people who identify with the LGBTQ community, democrats, republicans, the depressed, the anxious, the violated and the abandoned.
The stories I listened to made my heart heavy. Not only because of what has happened to these individuals but because of the similarities I find in almost all of their stories. It is through the recognition of the similarities in their voices that I have found a scary revelation.
When I ask my clients ”Who really knows you and what is going on in your life?”, they go silent. My heart sinks—If they do not feel known then they do not feel loved.
We spend hours on the internet “educating” ourselves about each other and our political parties but how much do we really know about each other if we feel this alone?
People have traded in meaningful relationships for idols that reflect back their own reflection.
Many people have lost their ability to positively create change because they have traded in other people’s voices for a soap box that only amplifies one, their own. Is it too much irony for anyone else that our are box shaped icons on our phones have become a modern day soap box? Some people truly think that they can change people, they don’t know, off of one 24-hour post. Others, think that they know someone off of one 24-hour post. That is like reading a sentence in a book and assuming you understand the whole novel.
The issue: you can’t fix big problems by looking at them from the surface, or worse, standing miles away shouting at them. Human issues are not superficial they are very personal. Just like you can’t do brain surgery on the surface, you can’t change the minds of others without intentional proximity. People’s beliefs have been built over generations, and will not be changed at the click of a button.
Sadly, I have started to wonder how many people will be sitting around their Thanksgiving dinner tables not feeling known or loved? If we don’t know the people sitting at our own table, how much do we really know about the people in our communities.
We are so blinded by societal and political labels that we can’t see that it is humans wearing them. How have we forgotten that the law does not exist outside of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The tactic to change has become extremely superficial. Our relationships are becoming as surfaced level as our phone screens. It is time to get personal and you can not get personal if you don’t get intentional.
The devil is wanting a seat at our Thanksgiving dinner table and he‘s serving dried up fruit produced by lack of intention and artificial proximity. What will you bring?
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