No matter how much gratitude, or grief, you are feeling on this thanks-giving day, take a deep pause and settle into your heart center and remember that we are all in this together – every last mother’s child. Native American, Immigrant American, Black, Brown, White, middle-class, poor, rich, educated, uneducated, male, female or somewhere in between, straight, gay, bi, left, right, liberal, conservative; whatever label you choose or way you identify – we are all humans, being.

Each one of us has been greedy or cruel at one time in our lives, each one of us has acted unjustly, or without integrity at some point, just as each one of us has been loving, kind and generous at another time in our lives. Let’s make this day an opportunity to atone for our mistakes – to remember to ourselves how we chose poorly, how we may have caused harm, how we have occasionally let our fear and ego drive our actions, and ask our holy spirit to help us untangle the knot inside of us that keeps us feeling separate and unworthy. Let’s generate compassion and forgiveness first for ourselves, and then extend it to all of our relations.

Every last one of us is dependent on this blessed planet and her sacred waters for our survival, and every last one of us contributes to the collective experience in one way or another. Let’s choose to contribute kindness, generosity, forgiveness, and inclusion, and let’s choose to bless others no matter how foreign, scary, different or annoying they may seem to us.

I think that we are all a little bit afraid of our futures and of losing what we cherish, so I suggest we extend our compassion to every person we encounter – in person or in passing – on this day of giving thanks, and remember that we are interdependent. We are in this together.