Getting Through The Holidays With Extended Family

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!

From Thanksgiving to the New Year we are often invited to gatherings by people we love to see but the thought of the other guests to whom we’re subjected is enough to make us groan. The cast of characters can be enough to make you want to throw rotten tomatoes as the scene unfolds. Sure, we can take a pass on the invitation, get into a drunken stupor, park ourselves in front of the TV, become fascinated by our text messages, sit in the corner and sulk. Or better yet, we can follow some positive suggestions. 

Let’s take a look at a timely article by Milissa Castanza Seymour, “Keep The Peace, Love and Joy in Family Celebrations” in the December/ January 2015 issue of Creations Magazine.

Ms. Castanza Seymour tells us, ” These can be anything but peaceful days, as we deal with relationships that can be trying at best, traumatic at worst. At the root of our relationships with the people we hold dear is trust; the feeling of being emotionally safe with those we love and that love us. We want a level of predictability and safety, exposing vulnerability to another and expecting it to be protected. That same trust informs our faith and goodwill.”

“How do we develop trust? It grows on a foundation of compassion, non-judgment, caring, honesty, reciprocity, and self-reflection. This is the soil in which trust can deeply root. If every attempt at relating to another is based in compassion, not judgment…honesty versus veiled attacks…giving without conditions…reflecting on our inner dialogue as a tool for self-understanding, we have a pretty good chance at developing positive relationships, goodwill, and faith in others and the world around us.”

She goes on to tell us…” to analyze ourselves to see if we have the qualities to build trust…to treat others the way we treat ourselves…to be anchored, enabling us to give what we want to attract…to forge a soul connection that begins a shift in consciousness that leads us to develop our Self that leads with compassion, non-judgment, honesty, reciprocity, and introspection.”

“Now how do we translate all this into peaceful family celebrations where all sorts of uncomfortable shenanigans can potentially ruin the holiday? Here are some suggestions:

*Attempt to meet people where they are versus expecting them to be who you want them to be

*Ask yourself what your “button” is and remember you own the button that others press.

*Pause and choose your response. Ask yourself, “How important is this?”

*Trust yourself to reframe the moment. Find the positives rather than perseverating on the negative.

These basic steps will help keep you centered and on the path of creating trusting relationships, encouraging peace, love, and joy, instead of chaos this holiday season.”

So, this all sounds very encouraging and professional. I already know I’m trust worthy, but my challenge will be following the four suggestions. In the midst of a perceived attack, I find it very difficult to control my response. Will I take the time to pause and think it through?  I will make a concerted effort since I have a lot to learn in this area.

You know by now,  I judge a person by how I feel after I’ve left their company. If I’m left in a jumbled, confused, conflicted state, I do not wish to be with such people. Unfortunately, family and social and work obligations require our presence.

This holiday season presents many opportunities for me to practice what I’m preaching today. I will be on the same journey for self-improvement in this area as you. Let’s wish each other the best possible outcome.

Let me know how you do. I’d love to hear from you.

Next blog post: May Peace Be With You and With Your Spirit

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