Healing Difficult Relationships
The holidays are a time of joy, and also for many of inner conflict.
While everyone has a unique situation, for many, there is at least one family member, friend or other individual we have a challenging time communicating with at the holidays.
Perhaps it is a sibling that we have a history with and have challenges breaking past patterns, or a friend who at the holiday’s we have our annual argument with. Or maybe our relationship with our spouse becomes strained as we deal with our unique and combined family situations that bring out all of our childhood dramas.
Holidays offer unique and powerful opportunities for transformation, should we choose to change ourselves first.
Here are options that may just offer a new experience for you.
1) Realize the lens you are viewed through by others may be an old lens and make efforts to change it. For instance, if as a child you were always late, look at the patterns you are creating now. Be early this year and see how you can deflate the old patterns with new ones. As we change ourselves in consistent ways, others see us differently. New actions are important in changing old beliefs.
2) Realize the lens you use for others may no longer fit either, try to learn about those you connect with in new ways. Prepare a few questions you never thought to ask in an effort to learn something new about a loved one to open your view of them – what was something fun they have done recently, have they picked up any new hobbies, etc. and see what you can learn about them that you might not have known before. As we learn new things about others, old beliefs can naturally change.
Also, as you do this, do your best not to try to make the new information fit the old beliefs. ;-) We all do this sometimes.
3) Choose to acknowledge that the relationship you thought you should have had with this person may be different than reality and instead of trying to fit a round block in a square hole, see if you can create something new of the relationship.
For example, maybe sharing with your sibling about your life and kids isn’t as fitting as sharing about your hobbies or travel or something else that lifts the energy. Perhaps prepare some topics you know are easy to discuss and let go of the old topics that cause challenges – at least for a while during the time of building a new relationship.
4) Talk to new people at events. If you usually talk to your siblings mostly at a family event, try talking to the kids or aunts or others and listen about their lives, see what happens when you shift your focus.
5) Be honest without malice. Often when there is a topic we feel strongly on we instantly put our backs up and the energy of anger is displayed. Then when we display anger, we often are met with it in return as that can be a natural response for many. Or we may just put people off and get backs turned on us.
Instead, if you are feeling the need to express emotion, try a deep breath first and find an honest way to state your truth without attacking anyone, see how it may be respected instead of dismissed.
For example, if Aunt Becky always says something about your hair and it’s hurtful, instead of saying ‘stop being mean’ you might say, ‘I don’t think you realize, sometimes when you comment on my new hairstyle it hurts my feelings. I realize we have very different taste in hairstyle, I appreciate that about you, I wonder if you could appreciate that about me too.’ See what happens.
6) Focus on the positive as much as possible. As you find yourself naturally going to judgment sometimes, remember how blessed you are. Maybe carry with you a list of ten blessings and refer to it when you need to to keep your spirit’s up.
7) Make sure to take care of yourself during the process. All of us have times of stress, ensure to continue your personal methods for distressing – yoga, running (I have a loved one reading this who is smiling right now), meditation, deep breathing, walking, etc. – to ensure you take care of yourself during the holidays and everyday really. The better you take care of your needs, the more effectively you can take challenges in stride as you will have more energy to do so.
8) Remember we are all human and get triggered sometimes. When you do, you have the opportunity as well to make amends, sometimes all it takes is ‘I’m sorry I snapped at you, old triggers came up on that one faster than I realized and I didn’t mean to hurt you or cause you pain.’ Taking responsibility for your actions and showing remorse can be a key turning point in healing and changing a relationship.
9) Talk to someone when you need to. I often find clients contact me during the holidays to talk things through and release stressful situations from the mind/body. Getting things out in a safe and honored environment can give you the release to move forward with more energy and less stress.
As a healing professional I know the benefit of releasing and renewing…you might be interested in my free workshop on it this month.
I hope you found this offered some helpful ideas on how to empower you in difficult situations. May you find yourself surrounded by positive energy and opportunities for connecting with others in loving ways this holiday season and always.
Happy Tweets begin January 2013!
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