There is a tradition in my family at Christmas where we gift books to each other. My oldest daughter is fantastic at finding just the right book to give me each year. Last year she gave me, The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker.
It’s an excellent book on how to plan and decide why you’re really gathering and who should be invited to those gatherings.
Chapter Two is Close Doors. It’s a chapter that explains how to exclude well. I think so many of us have the idea that all should be invited to every gathering we have.
We need to be intentional in life about who is allowed around us, by us and who is invited to sit at our table.
One of my favorite things in life is to gather! My family knows this well and it’s why I was given this great book. I chose well these days who sits at my table.
This is a Paella I made for friends. It took me three days to prepare the homemade chorizo, perfectly construct the sofrito, and so on to it’s completion.
Here’s my family gathering for Christmas dinner this year:
The joys of coming together.
What you will not see at my table are abusers, pedophiles or folks that just lack the integrity to bring something good.
Does that sound cruel? I hope not!
I used to sit at tables where betrayal was the main course, and for dessert we were served deceit and denial.
I hated those tables!
Now, I get to choose. What a thing of beauty that is.
So, how do you exclude well? In her second chapter she asks these questions:
Who not only fits but also helps fulfill the gather’s purpose?
Who threatens the purpose?The Art of Gathering, Chapter 2, page 42
She goes on to tell you that when you answer these two questions, you begin to grasp the gathering’s true purpose.
To fulfill the purpose of love, connection and trust at my table, I had to give a big heave-ho to many.
Chose well who you allow to be in your life.