When you read the word “holidays,” do you get excited thinking of all the family members you will be reunited with, or do chills go up and down your spine? Whether we’re getting together with our immediate family, extended family, or simply attending an office gathering for the holidays, it can cause us to have various emotions, including that of fear and stress.
I received this note from a dear friend, who also gave me the idea to use this for a holiday blog:
The holidays are here and along with it comes its usual dose of family drama. Just when I think I have this family thing down pat, a new issue, episode, or conflict emerges and sends me reeling. Searching for answers and peace, I turned to “Daily Guidance from Your Angels” by Doreen Virtue. I flipped the pages randomly until one caught my eye: Day 221 “Heal Anger.” It reads a lengthier passage, along with the following Thought for Today: No matter what, I am always connected to love. I work through anger in healthy, caring ways. I allow myself to feel this emotion, yet I always remember that its source is an illusion—in truth, everything is already healed right now. I found the message to be right on point, but began wondering – How do you respond with love when family continues to do things that are hurtful? How do you not build walls of protection when you are required to be in the same room with people who continue to push your buttons, especially at the holidays? What guidance does Spirit have on this topic?
I will respond with the tools that I have learned over time through many books that I have read from Doreen Virtue, Louise Hay, Cheryl Richardson and others, as well as what I get validated by Spirit. We are all human and there are simply times when we will be more triggered than others. No matter how many tools you have in your back pocket, I want to start with the one that gives you the freedom to not attend the function.
There is no way!
This is our immediate response because in the past, we have always done what was expected of us. We go in with thoughts of fear and projection based on past experiences, and can’t help but come out feeling validated that they all behaved as poorly as we knew they would. In doing so, we never give these events an opportunity to have a different outcome. If you know that you’re in a weakened state, you and you alone get to choose not to attend. The kids will live if you’re not there, the family will ask about you but will go on about their evening, and you get to choose to relax, enjoy a cup of tea and read a book, or write a blog ;). We have set these rules in our head that simply aren’t the truth. Get really honest with yourself and realize that you don’t really know how anyone will respond, react, or behave that evening, because we can all change at any given moment. All you know is how you choose to react.
The way to respond with love and compassion is by knowing that we are all one and that love heals us all. No matter how hurtful someone has been to us in the past, no matter how much drama seems to surround them, we get to choose to go in without expectations! Every time you find yourself stressing about the upcoming event and reliving the last Christmas where Uncle John decided to throw the ham or sister Susie couldn’t stop crying over always feeling left out, take time to acknowledge the feelings coming up in you. If possible, write them down to get them up and out of you. Allow whatever emotions come up to be released at that time. Try to find a sense of humor in the ridiculousness of it all, and realize that this is only temporary and that we only have so much time together here on earth. I have also found that praying for the function and for those in attendance, along with sending them love days prior to the event, helps to bring up not only their vibration, but also mine. This energy and vibration will literally shift the energy of the event and bring your attention to what you can be grateful for: love rather than stress.
The last tool that I will share is to put the focus on yourself and not on everyone else. We can’t change anyone, no matter how hard we try, but what we can change is our perspective, our thoughts and how we choose to react. When we realize and remind ourselves that hurt people in turn hurt people, we can respond with compassion and love. Responding with anything less than this only gives those that are clearly struggling (which is displayed by their negative behavior) more power to do the same. Why would you want to respond to their drama? It is normal to build walls of protection and can be healthy to have boundaries, such as walking away or not responding, while still being in attendance. Try it and see what happens! I have used these tools on many different occasions and have always had positive results. What amazes me, though, is that I have to take the time to be willing to let go of the past hurts so that I don’t take them in with expectations for the future. Put your focus on what you can be grateful for out of the event instead of what could possibly go wrong, and you will have a wonderful family event!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! May you enjoy your time with family and friends as you ring in 2017!
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Sharing the love and light, Caroline
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