The Difficulty of Giving Thanks
There is no need to try to remind them of all they "should" be thankful for.
There is no need for another pithy meme or "meaningful" quote about the transformative power of being thankful.
There is no need to try to cheer them up.
As much as we would like to think our well-meaning efforts are helpful, they really aren't. No matter how sincere they are, they can result in more feelings of inadequacy.
So what is one to do?
That's the thing. There is nothing to do. Because no one needs to be "fixed" or have their perspective changed.
Instead, this season, commit yourself to be present with them in thoughtful ways. In Covid times, this takes a little more creativity, but it is still possible. There is no need to overdo it. Remember, the goal is to be.
Here are some simple ways to be this holiday season . . .
- Write a simple short note (old school paper and pen style) just to say hello.
- Send a single text on a random day to remind them you are there.
- Call them and leave a message to say "hi" and to thank them for being a part of your journey.
- Sit with them for a while (in person if they are part of your Covid bubble or via phone, Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime if they aren't). Nothing needs to be said. Just be together.