We love our families, of course we do. But can we also confess that our family members can push our buttons like no other force on this planet? For a lot of us, the holidays can be a mixed bag of emotions. But what if that could change? Instead of throwing back enough wine until we can deal (one of my favorite methods), what if we could use this time for our benefit?
For a living I teach people how to move past limiting patterns, most of which were created in childhood. I’m an expert in the tools, but it doesn’t mean I always use them. I, like anyone can slip into old habits like an old comfy pair of sweats.
The irony is that the exact thing that is causing our suffering is actually the key to our healing. As a rule, the things that cause us the most suffering can connect us directly to our unique life themes. (I.E. why our soul is here.) I can’t tell you how many times people’s spirit guides remind my clients of the freedom within healing family relationships and how important it is to the soul. In truth, it’s not even about them, it’s about our relationship with ourselves.
If you struggle during the holidays, try these simple tools to use “family crap” to catapult you into the New Year as genuinely a “new you" and turning a new leaf onto family dynamics.
1. Take time for your self. Before you greet anyone in the morning, take some time to meditate. During the day excuse yourself for a long walk, a drive, or even better, a trip to the gym. Endorphins are real. You’ll feel so much better and they’ll thank you for it. Part of the difficulty around the holidays is that we feel confined because we do things out of obligation.
2. Create boundaries. You can say no to things or at the least leave when you’re ready to go. When we don’t want to be somewhere, people can feel it. If it’s not serving you, it’s not serving the other person. This is a golden rule for any relationship. Otherwise, if you really can’t get out of a family tradition, you just gotta make the best of it. Can you do a gratitude rampage about the perceived dreadful thing you have to do to make it a better experience for yourself?
3. Stay in your lane. "Do you." As much as we’d like our family members to change, chances are they probably won’t. Try seeing them for who they are instead of a reflection of yourself or your past. Ever notice that your friends can do this? “Wow, your mom is so great” (Eye roll, if you only kneewww…) We get stimulated around family because we are generally wanting them to be different so that we can feel better. Our healing however, is never within the condition, we can only truly liberate ourselves by setting them free.
4. Choose Your Expansion. When pain (annoyance, anger, discomfort) comes up, we can choose in that instant if it will trigger us into our pain or our expansion. We choose. For example; Dad starts in on how he thinks you should be living your life differently. Instead of feeling not accepted, misunderstood or defensive, realize that somehow, somewhere it’s coming from love. How can this trigger your expansion vs. your discontentment? Try dissipating the tension through silent forgiveness and empowerment in choosing how you feel…
5. It’s not you, it’s me. The truth is no one can really make us feel anything. It sure seems like it sometimes but this vicious cycle will keep us stuck in blame and conditional contentment for eternity (AKA hell). What do we think we need in order to feel better? Here’s a simple formula: “If they _____ I would feel _____.” (Ex: If my sibling stopped drinking I would feel peaceful.) The problem with this is that we are trying to plug into someone else to make us feel safe, ok, loved, etc. By realizing we have the ability to generate any feelings of self-love and alignment within, we can switch this and access these feelings and heal without needing the condition to change. This means letting everyone off the hook... the payoff? Oh... just infinite freedom and joy.
6. Consult Your Soul. What would your soul say? When I was little I told my parents I was glad I chose them to be my parents and why my soul came. I was fresh off the boat. Needless to say by the time I was a teenager I was singing a different tune. Nonetheless, consider your soul chose this very dynamic for your expansion. In every moment we can stop and ask, who am I consulting? My soul or my ego? The ego will try to manipulate and stage-manage but will keep you stuck in a loop for lifetimes on end. The soul will be thankful for the lesson and offer a peaceful resolution. Either way, we get what we ask for. Our thoughts create things, our perception shapes our world.
Life is short. We’ll look back on these days wishing there had been more love and less separation. Love is always available for us, it’s who and what we really are. Our liberation lies only within our own hands. My guides told me the other day the relationship I was inquiring about was really only about my relationship with myself. It stopped me in my tracks but also made dealing with it a lot easier. Thank your fellow souls for pushing your buttons and into your remembrance of who you really are. Be gentle with them and yourself. Pain is only resistance to our true selves.