I am a fan of Robin of Berkeley. Robin of Berkeley is a pen-name. Every paragraph she writes is a pertinent comment on our times. She is “a frequent American Thinker contributor. Robin is a recovering liberal and a licensed psychotherapist in Berkeley.”
Enjoy, with me, her wonderful testimony published, November 24, 2010 at American Thinker
My First Thankful Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving was never a favorite holiday of mine. Now that I think about it, I never cared for any of them: 4th of July, Christmas, or Columbus Day (which, by the way, Berkeley long ago renamed “Indigenous People’s Day”).
If I’m being completely honest here, my main activities during the holidays were ranting and raving. For instance: Why should we celebrate Thanksgiving when the holiday marks the slaughter of Native Americans? Why do these cashiers keep cheerfully extolling me to “have a Merry Christmas!”? And if I hear one more [censored] Christmas song, I will lose my frigging mind.
Of course, I was just one of the progressive pack, parroting the party line. Being a Leftist means honing in on every possible injustice. Never-ending gripes and grievances are the glue that keeps progressives cemented together.
But then, three years ago, the bottom fell out of my life. Slowly but surely, it dawned on me that everything I had held as sacrosanct was a lie. I woke up — and now I behold the world with fresh eyes. Consequently, I am celebrating my First Thankful Thanksgiving.
Instead of laser-focusing on every unfairness, I am now moved by life’s bounty. I finally see my great fortune in being born in this country, in this moment in time. Although I used to lambaste the United States and everything it stood for, I realize that I was like a spoiled child—ungrateful, mean-spirited.
I was under the delusion that living in another country, any other country, would be better than in the world’s oppressor, the U.S. of A. And now that I’ve actually gotten a clue, I thank my lucky stars that I was not born a woman in Iran, Ethiopia, China — actually anywhere aside from the United States.
I realize all of this now, but also much, much more. Because not only is this my first Thanksgiving as a patriotic American, but it’s my first as a true believer. With my spiritual evolution, my life has come full circle.
So this Thanksgiving, I feel not only grateful, but blessed. I read something evocative in the illuminating book Back to Virtue. The author writes that before a person believes in God, he feels either happy or unhappy. The person will cling to fleeting pleasures, no matter how harmful they may be.
When a person wakes up to the Divine, he’s still sometimes happy and other times unhappy. But through all the trials and tribulations of this human realm, he continually feels blessed.
I too feel blessed, even as I must face the unavoidable sorrows of this transient human life. My health problems flare up; I’m worried but still feel blessed. I live in an insane area and lack community — and yet, through it all, my gratitude never wavers.
This is because I know what it’s like to live with and without God. I know what it’s like to search aimlessly for something I lack, not even knowing what it is, and to blindly embrace political leaders because they promise to fill the void. And I know the bliss of finding what I was looking for all along.
Because I live a before-and-after existence, every day feels brand new. Now when I start losing something precious — which I am doing right now, as a close friend is broadsided by a deadly disease — I know that something endures even after everything else is gone.
As my cup runneth over this Thanksgiving, my mind drifts to the many guides and mentors I’ve had along the way. I’m eternally grateful to American Thinker’s mensch of an editor, Thomas Lifson, who embraced my writing from that first article two years ago, “Letter of Amends.”
By doing so, Thomas opened a window for me into the conservative community — “My Peeps” — that I would not have discovered on my own. He gave me the chance to find my way to those readers who, quite frankly, changed my life. I can even recall the exact moment when the spark of the Divine was planted in my consciousness.
I was reading a comment by a reader who wrote the oddest and yet most intriguing thing. He/she wrote, “God is revealing Himself to you.” I had no idea what the person was talking about; I had never heard language like this before. And yet because my eyes moistened, I knew that a door to something big and transformative had been opened.
But mostly, as I celebrate my First Thankful Thanksgiving, I feel so blessed that God gave me the opportunity to get my head on straight, even though I am on the cusp of my twilight years. For reasons I will never understand, He gently plucked me up and deposited me with this faithful flock. And given the dark times we live in, He did this just in the nick of time.