The holidays are when lots of family members get together. Most of the time, it is fun and enjoyable. But for some of us, it’s not.
Let’s start off by emphasizing that taking care of yourself is the most important thing. If you don’t have to go to a function where there are people you don’t get along with, don’t go. If you must go, take care of yourself by doing one or more of the following:
- Pray for the person who you don’t get along with. In the 12 Step program there is a saying: “Hit him with a prayer instead of a chair.” The prayer is a simple one: “Please Lord, let Mary find the same peace and happiness I look for,” or “Lord, allow me to see the God within them; allow me to see some part of you in him or her.”
- When you go to family functions, you don’t have to stay the entire time. Let the host know you have another engagement, e.g., feeding homeless people, or some other excuse, and leave within a time frame that is tolerable for you.Make an arrangement with a friend to call you at the function, and tell everyone you have to leave and help that person.
- Come early and leave early. Usually, you miss the heavy drinking and loudness that increases as time goes on.
- Center yourself before going . . . pray . . . meditate . . . take deep belly breaths.
- If or when something happens at the function, you can find a private area and, again, take some deep belly breaths and ask for help.
Finally, just remember that everyone is put into our life for a specific reason. Try to find out what you need to learn from that person. (Is it patience? Is it compassion? Is it boundaries?) When you find the answer to that question, you will find that it is much easier to be around the difficult person (or people) in your life. When they behave in a way that offends you, you won’t take it personally. You’ll know it’s a reminder to practice whatever it is you need to learn from them.
Next week: You Already Have Everything You Need
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