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: http://www.DrEricaWellness.com.
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Here’s to living the life of your dreams.