This time of year can be tough. Lots of being pitched to for spending money as love, to feel only “happy happy happy!”, and a body that simply wants more sleep due to less sunlight. Add spending time with family you chose to move away from, lots of alcohol and sugar, and your holidays become less about peace and goodwill and a lot more like a marathon. Especially when the people you moved away from can still make you crazy!!
Family is the best and family is the hardest
Getting together with the people you grew up with can be like time-traveling to the past. You are no longer a child and the people you work with or are friends with consider you an adult. Yet getting together with the family you grew up with can give you a case of bad deja’vu and provoke some not so fun emotions in you. Heh! Wasn’t what you didn’t like about your family supposed to go away when you left home?
Behave like a grownup even if others are not
Leaving home is not the same as making peace with those you grew up with. While distance and a place of your own may allow the occasional visit with family to be pleasant enough, the double whammy of alcohol and your longing for a Norman Rockwell holiday can make holidays with family tricky. All it takes is a parent behaving as you hate them behaving and before you can say “world peace”, you’re screaming at them for being a jerk. ‘Kinda like a child having a doozy of a temper tantrum (gulp).
Tend to what’s unresolved with your family….just not while eating Thanksgiving dinner
Many adults haven’t resolved their childhood, limiting their ability to be a grownup with their family. You can choose to avoid your parents or spend way too much energy being angry with a sibling. You wish your parents would change how they treat you, but have you changed how you are with them? The difference between being an adult and being a grownup is one word describes your body and the other word describes your level of personal responsibility and maturity. Guess which one is which?
Commit to being a grownup with your childhood
Will this make your parents see the light and treat you as you want them to treat you? Or prevent a sibling from railing about God intending marriage as only between men and women? I wouldn’t hold my breath, but here’s a little secret about making peace with your past. When you release your past (including the people in it) from having the power to hold your happiness hostage, you release yourself from being bound to your past as well.
Lift your spirits and create a bit of peace of mind and heart
Peace of mind and heart comes from choosing to extend love to your family, even when they give you SO many reasons not to. Choosing to love when reason tells you not to, creates the peace we all seek, where reason does not. The person you hurt the most when you withhold love from others is yourself. Peace doesn’t come from not disagreeing with others. Peace stands a chance when grownups make agreements for keeping the peace. Realize the vast power within you called love, and then be the grownup making things better with your family and in your world.