Summer is over with Labor Day passed and Halloween coming up. Everyone can feel confident that Autumn is here, and with the holidays approaching once again. Holidays usually involve family or those very close to us. Celebrations will also bring some pleasant feelings such as joy, exhilaration, and fun, and some not so pleasant feelings such as depression, anxiety and fear.
Family is the biggest trigger for any unresolved challenges to start coming up, and holidays are the second biggest trigger. There is always a bit of residual stuff that will come up around the holidays but there are great coping strategies as well. We don't choose family during our lives but we will make the best of any situation, with effort, and work towards healing any and all splits and sour notes that may have played out in the past. Also knowing we cannot control the way others treats us, and control other people's behavior, is essential for finding a peaceful inner self skating through the holiday season and beyond.
With family disharmony you want to move forward knowing your hands are not tied but rather reaching out to those that treat you well, with unconditional love and regard. You don't want to subject yourself to people who have malicious intent, lie and call you crazy, yet during the holiday season, often, we are left in the same room with such a brood. Knowing you are not responsible for anyone else's happiness except your own is the key to keeping the peace and solace that these times are supposed to be all about.
Engaging in any highly charged discussions, subjects or talks is not a good idea. Loaded topics such as politics or healthcare will not be valuable ways to keep the peace. Neutral subjects ideas such as what everyone did for the summer, new ideas and inventions, decorating ideas for the home, books you enjoyed, talks about upcoming fun events or even about self growth will be beneficial and interesting for everyone. Anyone not interested in neutral or fun subjects and wants to pout around and be "scrooge like" will tend to not be engaged. It is not anyone's responsibility to cater to obstinance and martyr like behavior. Leave that person to their own demise. Eventually if you don't pay attention to negative behavior, the person will either leave on their own, or finally involve themselves willingly.
If someone is a jerk, you could be the world’s best person and they still won't respect or praise you. You can apologize when apology is due, bring gifts, remind them of all your kind acts, be there when they are down, and it will not bring them to the light of their cruel and brazen ways.
You do not apologize to be forgiven. You apologize to make amends and be the bigger person. If apologies go unaccepted know that you put your best foot out there, and be patient. Perhaps the wind of change takes time. When you realize there is no making nice, nice with difficult and stubborn family members understand that loving yourself, keeping your head up high and aligning with those that love you unconditionally is your best bet. As Jesus said "don't throw your pearls to the swine".
If someone that is supposed to love you picks on you, you could change your hair, lose weight, become wealthier, visit more often and nothing will satisfy them. Satisfying others above yourself is never a good idea. Becoming a satisfied, loving, accepting, productive and purposeful human being is what is very important. Like attracts like. So if you are not attracting particular people in your family or in life know that is a sign that they are very "unlike" you.
If a "friend" is always complaining about what you did and what you didn’t do, you could give them everything and they still will not change. It is a choice to not change and always was and always will be. Stay connected with people who give you kudos, who are reciprocal and non-judgmental. You will only be barked at and cajoled so much without wanting to retreat and go to your safe and special place where you thrive, grow kinder and more loving.
Thinking and wishing that people who have hurt you will change is like changing the color of your eyes, it is not possible. More importantly is opening your eyes to your own change and growth and self protection and that is divine. Creating your path, with your values and having visions, just the way you want it laid out is a great place exercise for well being.
Thinking you can control other people's behavior, is a trap that will take you time to climb out of. Knowing you cannot change people to become better human beings saves you a lot of time and energy. Keep all that fabulous energy to yourself and for the people in your life that deserve it the most.
Marla Stone, MSW is a Lifestyle Coach, Professional Self and Space Organizer, Designer and Feng Shui Specialist. www.i-deal-lifestyle.com is a Professional Organizing, Lifestyle Coach, Decor and Feng Shui business in California. Located in Venice, Santa Monica, Newport Beach, Irvine, San Clemente, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. We serve Southern and Northern California and beyond via Skype, telephone and email.
Call 949-709-7000 for a free 30 minute consultation.
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Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of