Avoid Family Drama on Thanksgiving

How Not to Hit Your Sister Over the Head With the Fire Truck

Family challenges are truly some of the most difficult spiritual tests, as they last your whole life, yet these relationships tend to be the ones that can bring the most joy… or heartbreak. If we see life as a school, and each relationship, job, or social situation, as a particular “class,” we shift our perspective. This can give you the “space” to look at it without the dramatic history… and this tool can help you to curb your own reactions, disappointments, or even anger that may come up during “A Family Thanksgiving.”

1. Perception

Sit down and list the potential challenges for the upcoming celebration, whether those are individual relationships, the family dynamics, or smaller issues; about food, or how you “do” or “don’t do” something. No matter what form that challenge would take, add it to the list. Now step outside of the history that creates that drama, look at the situation as an outsider, and try to see why the people involved choose to hold on to that behavior or attitude? It usually boils down to their limitations. I love the saying; “there is no such thing as rejection, only other people’s limitations” it is true. If you can let go of the need to change the situation or that person, and accept that they are indeed limited in their ability to control that action, suddenly the drama balloon is deflated!

2. Compassion

It is so easy to judge another, especially if they are sitting in judgment of you! However, if you can find the compassion to try to understand what has happened to that person that could have caused them to be “limited” in their understanding, you can start to feel less irritation, and more compassion. To accept “why” they do or say these things does not lessen you. To accept them “as they are” does not mean you agree with what they say or do. To let them unveil their limitation in their words or deeds, does not mean they are “right.” It just means you are strong and confident enough to let them have their drama without buying a ticket to ride in it!

3. Being Right

It is a human drive to speak our opinions, our feelings, and to move to “correct” what we see as “wrong,” yet if we take away the concept of “right and wrong” (which is rarely an absolute truth) that same action is just a “joining in” to the drama. It escalates the negative energy, and infects all who hear or see it with the heaviness of it. I have a saying, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?” It is its own reward to simply be free of a “reaction” to negative actions or words.

By being compassionate, using a more spiritual perspective, we can find much more joy in our family gatherings, and set a much healthier example! You could change the future of your family gatherings one small quiet moment, by moment.

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