Does the thought of getting together with family for a holiday dinner… well, ruin your appetite?
Is the dread of past memories and unpleasant stories seeping into your mind?
Do you feel like your mother, father, sister or brother always know how to push your buttons?
Here’s the deal.
For them to be able to push your buttons… there needs to be buttons that they can push.
In other words, if there’s something about what they’re saying that’s causing you to react in a negative way, chances are that whatever they’re saying may be hitting a bit too close to home.
Lets face it, certain people know just how to irritate and upset you.
Keeping your cool when someone is getting under your skin involves emotional awareness.
Which means there’s something in what they’re saying or the way they’re saying it that aligns with something you feel strongly about and need to defend.
In most cases it’s a deep seeded point of view that’s been lurking in your subconscious for years.
So how can you alleviate the button pushing?
The first step is to become more observant of what you are feeling in relation to this person moment-by-moment.
Rather than try to figure this out when you are in the hot seat, it is more useful to work on these skills when you are in a state of balance.
Ask yourself questions
It’s about doing the work, taking note when you’re starting to react
and ask yourself the questions…
- What is it that I’m feeling??
- What’s the (actual) meaning I’m giving to this?
- Where am I validating their point of view by simply reacting?
- What would it look like if I actually expanded out with NO point of view?
So why the questions?
Well, rather than holding onto your story of who, what, where and HOW that always happens, it might actually shift and change your perspective on the situation.
Are you truly willing to break through the old paradigms, cut through those stories and have something greater show up?
It’s something I discovered when I was going through the same family holiday struggles.
After my parents separated when I was a young adult, my mother insisted we have two different celebratory holiday dinners. Initially I went along with it. Making two different dinners – one with my mom, the other with my dad. It was exhausting!
Eventually, as my own family grew, I came to realise this wasn’t working for me. I Knew there had to be a different way to celebrate family… without the trauma.
It all came to light when my mom was once again making plans – her plans – for another holiday dinner. Or should I say dinners!
As she told me the schedule for both dinners, I told her that although I appreciated “her plans,” it didn’t work for me.
Instead, I gave HER some choices that were inclusive for all.
I could either make dinner at her home, and everyone’s invited, including dad. Or we can have it at my home in which everybody’s also invited. Her and dad would come to my home.
As she considered the options and looked at me, I expanded out energetically in total loving allowance.
Her response? She didn’t want to be alone. I told her I understood, then continued to be quiet and let her be with her thoughts. She then agreed to have dinner at her place – WITH my dad!
That was the moment that our holiday tradition shifted!
Going from dreaded holiday overwhelm, stress and feeling pulled in different directions – to making the decision to be present. To stop living in the never-ending stories and distorted beliefs of the past and ask myself those important questions I have just shared with you.
Living in the question. Vocalizing what I needed.
Embracing the expansiveness of true choice, no matter what it looks like, in total loving allowance.
Because, whatever the choices, decisions, or angles of others, we ultimately have to create a life we love, one what’s works for us. Not just during the holidays… but everyday.
I would love to hear what YOU’RE planning to do to express what you need to bring the joy back into your family get togethers during the holidays.
Put it in the comments!
“We’re not stuck by outside circumstances. We’re just stuck by the meaning that we give them and the stories we tell ourselves about them.”– Susan Lazar Hart –
The Congruent Method can help you discover how to be totally present. Asking yourself those important questions so you can find the delicious fulfilment, joy and harmony a congruent life offers! A life you love… and loves you back!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends in the US!
Have a wonderful week filled with love and gratitude!