Relationship Healing Factor

Could any of your relationships use healing?  Perhaps Thanksgiving is a good time to focus on this.  If you are one of  the  lucky ones, your relationships are blossoming and joyful and you feel as if you are overflowing with love, abundance and good feelings.  However, it is not so for so many others.  Some of us will spend time with our families, harboring long term resentments, reacting emotionally to perceived slights and put downs, or just tolerating the family as we anxiously anticipate the holiday ending.  Others will choose to forgo any family connection, perhaps spending Thanksgiving with neighbors and friends or all alone.

Let me share some thoughts about how we might think during this holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving. 

Accept the journey of life.  This journey inevitably includes relationships, and some of those relationships are with family members who have not treated us with the love and understanding or caring that we want and desire.  Our life journey involves self-reflection, dialogue with others, and the realization that there is always something more we can learn.  Perhaps we need to learn to develop a broader and more encompassing perspective.  Or maybe we need to learn how to forgive others, or harder still, to forgive our self.

Attend to the relationship.  When we feel mistreated, misunderstood, diminished, neglected or hurt, usually the last thing we want to do is to make amends with the person or people who have mistreated us.  But that is exactly what is needed – not for them – but for us.  When other people treat us poorly, they usually express what they want and forget about it.  But if we are the recipient, it is not so easy for us to just forget.  We will probably ruminate in our mind and increase the intensity of the discontent.  Instead, practice mindfulness.  Speak up and explain how you feel, if you can and if it feels appropriate.  At other times, pay attention to your own self and your body reactions.  Breathe deeply.  Let the negative feelings dissipate.  Feel good about yourself.

Nurture the habit of self reflection. Perhaps some of the negative vibes you feel from others are actually the result of your own thoughts and actions in the past.  Develop the habit of self-reflection.  Review your thoughts, moment to moment, and count to 10 before taking any major actions.  Give yourself time to reflect before acting.  You cannot change anyone else; the only one you can truly change is yourself.

*  Keep connected to those who remind you of who you are.  If you find yourself in the position of spending the holidays with less than loving family, brace yourself with all the love you can muster from non-family members who know, accept and love you.  Read uplifting and spiritually soothing books and stories and affirmations.  Fill your consciousness with loving thoughts and self-loving beliefs.  Arm yourself with self-love before spending the holidays with people who say they love you but often behave in hurtful ways.

If you are struggling with relationship issues, please contact me for a consultation:

Read one of my Love Me, Touch Me, Heal Me books: or Ebooks:

Take the Create Healing and Love Now quiz at

Here’s to living the life of your dreams.


Dr. Erica

15 thoughts on “Relationship Healing Factor

  1. Dr. Erica~
    Thank you for this wonderful post! I love the way you cover all the major issues in a way that’s easy to read! From the beginning of the post, and again at the end, you talk about introspection. I believe that is imperative to happy living, and in this case, relationship building!
    Thank you,

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  3. Erica,

    Wonderful advice on relationships… especially the one with ourselves. Living with others and within relationships is not always easy. It is very powerful to be able to forgive, choose to focus on the relationships of unconditional love. We truly believe that what we give, so we receive. It is amazing how if we focus on love that we tend to get that in return.

    ~ Pat & Lorna

  4. Hi Erica,

    Terrific advice on nurturing relationships with others and especially with yourself. Everything starts with you and so many problems can be resolved if people start with self-reflection first. You generally get what you put out.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Janette Stoll

    • Janette,

      You do generally get what you put out. But if you’ve given it your all and you don’t receive back, then you can have much greater clarity about when to walk away. Self-reflection and paying attention to your own bodily sensations, gut feelings, is essential,


  5. Thank you so much, Erica. This post is right on target. The older I get, the more I recognize the importance of relationships. I cultivate them – for sure. They also seem to happen more naturally when I am open to possibilities. Fortunately, things just keep getting better. 🙂

    • Angela,
      I have become more careful about who I create relationships with. I value and love and support my friends and I want them to do the same for me. It’s really very simple. And for me also, things keep getting better.


  6. Erica,
    Accepting the journey is a great reminder at anytime. There are instances when it’s easy to get caught up in rushing things or pushing without remembering to learn and grow from each and every experience.

    A friend just shared a meditation with me that assisted in dealing with negative family members. It did bring balance while in attendance with them. Every resource to help keep your balance in life is awesome!

    Great points to keep in the forefront. Thanks Erica,
    Val 🙂

    • Val,
      You brought up something important, how to deal with family members that are negative, unsupportive or downright critical.
      Shirlee MacClaine once said, “If you think you have it all together, go home to spend Thanksgiving weekend with your family.” That can be so true. Being with the family can bring us right back to those old childhood wounds that we thought we had handled by now. That meditation you mentioned sounds like a great tool to have available. I also read recently about making “afformations” – using questions – instead of “affirmations’ which are firm statements. So the question could be, “Why is my family so easy to be with this year?” In answering the question for yourself, you are discovering and uncovering different ways to achieve your objective.

  7. Two things come to mind, Erica,
    First, from my reading of Don Miguel Ruiz’s “Mastery of Love,” we need to “release” ourselves from expectations of others. I wanted to say “lower” our expectations, but I’m feeling that any expectations are certain to lead to disappointment.

    The other thing is from an anonymous story I read entitled “Why do people fall in Love?” The article was not really so much about the WHY as it was a definition of love. Your fourth tip to “Keep connected to those who remind you of who you are” brought to mind the main way to know you were really in love [according to the author] and that was “When you are in their presence, you feel really good about yourself.” In other words, it is not their goal in life to tear you down [to make themselves feel better].

    • Shari,
      That is a tall order, to totally let go of expectations of others, although I know that expectations often lead to our problems. When we are connected to another, we share our self and we do “expect” that the other person will share equally. However, each of us has our own complex mindset and we never really know what anyone else wants or needs. If we let go of expectations, the other person can feel more free to truly express him or her self. Then we can choose whether or not to keep connected to that person.

      As for knowing if we are in love, the fact is that we can be madly in love with someone who mistreats us, puts us down, and hurts us. Love is a feeling, an emotion, a bodily response. We respond to words, actions, body language that triggers synapses in our brain, often reminding us of something from our early formative years. For many of us, it takes a lot of counseling to become able to “love” someone who is loving and kind to us. I often find that it seems to be much easier to “love” someone who is difficult and even unavailable than to love the good, kind, loving person right in front of us.

  8. Hi Dr. Erica,

    I’m going to have to bookmark this article!! I haven’t seen my mother in over 3 years but will be seeing her in February and I am already stressing about it. I can’t find it in my heart to forgive her for the way she’s let me down as a mother but I have to come to terms with it and accept it. The good news is that I vowed to NOT follow in her footsteps and I am a better mother for it. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to the next post.


    • Trish,
      Thank you for sharing so openly and from the heart. You don’t have to like what your mother has done and you don’t even have to like her. It just helps to find a way to forgive and let go of the sense of being wronged, of being a victim. Instead, perhaps you can focus on how your not receiving the type of love and support that you crave has nudged you into giving more of that to your children and probably also to your husband. As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. In fact, many of the most creative geniuses endured less than ideal childhoods, grew up with enormous insecurities and personality flaws, but that is partly what created their hunger and drive to create. And maybe there really is a master plan and a supreme being guiding us.


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