Saturday, November 13, 2010

Finding Peace in the Holiday Season

The holidays are just around the corner, which for most of us means time spent with close family. In some cases, this is not always a pleasant thought, thanks to old, negative family dynamics. These bonds are deep and powerful, and can affect us greatly. If there is someone in your family who really gets under your skin, who really pushes your buttons, this post is for you.
The only person we can change in any situation is ourselves. If you are waiting for someone else to change so you can be at peace and be happy, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. It is our failure to accept people exactly as they are that gives us pain in a relationship. The key is self-love. If you love yourself deeply enough, you won't be looking to others for validation, and you won't be affected by what they say and what they do. 99% of the actions of others have nothing to do with you. If you love yourself deeply enough, their actions can be seen for what they truly are, an indication of their fears and inability to love, nothing to do with you. When you are able to separate yourself, you will see how afraid they are, and how that fear manifests itself as anger, resentment, bitterness, and guilt, which they then project onto others. You will see their fear, and realize the only answer for it is love and compassion.
Our families, especially our parents, are able to push our buttons, because they programmed them! No matter our age, when we spend time with our parents in some ways we become 5 years old again, still looking to them for love, nurturing and approval. If they say negative things to us or start pointing out our faults, chances are on some level we are still buying into it, still believing it. "What happens to us externally does not determine our internal condition. It is what we tell ourselves about what is happening externally that determines our internal condition." If your parent (or sibling, or grandparent) is still able to push your buttons, then on some deep level you are still telling yourself that they are right. Chances are you can't change the other person, but you can change yourself, by changing what you are telling yourself at that moment. Refuse to buy in, refuse to play the long-established game. Love yourself deeply enough to know your own worth and to reject their fear. By having compassion and realizing that their negativity has nothing to do with you, you are meeting their fear with love. And when love meets fear, love always wins.
Wishing you a happy and peaceful holiday season!

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