We’ve all got someone in our family that sets off triggers (be in ABSOLUTE gratitude if you don’t!); a crazy aunt, lazy brother-in-law, spoiled kid, overbearing father … you fill in the blanks.
And it doesn’t take much to get hurt, because these people know your pain spot, whether they unconsciously or intentionally take a stab.
In my world, I want to be happy and loving during the holidays (and always), so I have a strategy to keep things healthy… and I’ll share it with you.
Make a Plan: Which conversations are you going to engage in and which ones will you walk away from? Be prepared to excuse yourself and when you return, talk to someone else if a conversation is bothering you or you can see it escalating.
Be “LOVE”: If things heat up ask yourself “what would Love do at a time like this?” Then act out as Love would. This takes ‘you’ out of the equation and helps you come from a place of peace and caring, not winning or being right.
It’s not about you … even if it feels that way:
Criticism is usually projection; but in families it can be habit and familiarization.
Your mother may rumble in your kitchen demanding better organization and sharper knives, but she would never do it at one of her friend’s homes. She’s more comfortable lipping you off because she knows you. She’s frustrated about something and she’s taking it out on you. It still stings, and yes, it’s rude… but does it really matter? I look at comments like this as an opportunity to invite her to come and spend a day after the holiday season to upgrade. (Make it a fun idea!)
Adopt the quote: “What other people think is none of my business!”
Take a ‘time-out’ and go through a visualization if you are feeling triggered, or count to 10 before you say anything.
Visualization: Water off a duck’s back. You are the duck, the criticism is the water, let it slide over you and into the lake/ocean. Feel your true self happy and warm on the inside.
Visualization: Protection bubble. You are in the center of a large, safe bubble or light and protection. Nothing can take your joy; or meddle with your emotions. You are safe within this beautiful space that belongs to you.
Find your inner Buddha:
Meditate and Breathe: Morning meditation helps you to stay calm and peaceful. Focus on breathing if you feel agitated or provoked. It gives you peaceful time to choose a healthy reaction.
Be good; then you’ll like your “self”:
Stay with your good habits. Sleep 8 hours, get out doors, move your body, eat the foods that make you feel good.
Take the high road without being self-righteous.
Don’t over indulge. (Especially alcohol. which can really mess up an evening).
Find harmony in co-operation; share, help-out and pitch-in.