It’s time to pack up and head home for the holidays and you have the pit in your stomach to prove it. If you’re already envisioning the gingerbread house you are going to throw across the kitchen when the relatives that never understood you start acting like they do every year when you come home, perhaps you are packing the wrong baggage for the plane.
Forget the past
First, forget every other time you have ever gone home. Yes, everything you are afraid of may have happened last year. Your family may be brutally insensitive, culturally backwards and just plain annoying. However, to have a new experience, you must be open to it. We see what we are looking for. If you are just waiting for someone to hurt your feelings, just like last year, it will surely happen. Remember, you have no idea how things are actually going to pan out. Let it surprise you.
Drop the blame game
Remember, your issues are your issues. Yes, your family may have patterns and energies that have found their way to you. But guess what, you grew up anyway. And now you must make your own life. If you blame your family for everything you don’t have in your life, you will surely never get it because you are looking to the wrong source for your power. It’s not that we have to heal from our parent’s behavior, it’s that we must heal from our reaction to their behavior. Own your issues because no matter where they stem from, they are yours to deal with.
Give your family the gift of letting them off the hook – at least for the holidays. You may be bristling from the phone call you had even yesterday let alone the catastrophic events of your childhood. So, in lieu of forgiveness, consider a cease-fire. Give yourself the gift of putting down your weapons while you are home. Unless you make some pretty big resolutions, all your resentments will be there in the new year. So if you can’t let go of it all today, grant yourself a temporary neutral stance. Try on a Santa suit of loving detachment. Who knows? You might just like being at peace.
Go in peace
And now, let yourself off the hook and have a great time! While you’re enjoying the demilitarized zone, go visit your good memories. Ride a sled down a hill, go to a museum, drive by your old elementary school. Put your focus on letting the good things weigh as much or more than the bad things. Yes, your family may be the worst one in the whole wide world, but you still had a childhood that belongs to you. Perhaps the greatest gift of being a kid is the capacity to be amazed by the world. Tap in to the joyous child within and have a happy holiday!
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