By Susan K. Edwards, Liscensed Spiritual Healer-Coach, Reiki Master
Let's face it. We humans like to get together, eat, drink and be merry. We've been doing it for millennia. It doesn't matter if you call it the Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas, Hannakka, or any of a myriad of other festival names, we like to party around this time of year. So whether you're all "fa la la, or bah humbug" about it, chances are these traditions will continue with or without you.
Don't get me wrong. There are lots of reasons for folks to have "issues" around the holidays. My beloved older sister died at 10 am Christmas morning a few years ago... so I get it. I want to validate all of those reasons. BUT. What if your holiday traditions just need a slight tweak to bring the joy back?
As a Christian, I'll be talking about Christmas, but the same advice applies to whatever holiday you celebrate. Here are some of the joy thieves:
This could be someone in your family (or you) that insists on doing things the exact same way every year. And any variation from the how-to-celebrate-the-holiday prescription results in high drama, emotional meltdowns, and downright crisis. Even if the "we've always done it this way" isn't working and hasn't for a long time. If it isn't bringing you joy maybe it's time to reimagine your strategy.
Curate your get-together. Perhaps your beliefs have evolved and branched off some of the others in your family group or tribe of friends. If you're hosting, instead of trying to mix diametrically opposed forces, curate your guest list for parties and get-togethers with more like-minded guests. If you are attending, be decerning about what parties you attend and how long you stay. Consider joining virtually if appropriate.
If being with your family over the holidays is a toxic mix resulting in something considerably less than joy and harmony... then evolve your traditions. Take the woman that felt equal and opposing emotions about attending the family holiday dinner. She wanted to attend but she and her sibling had not spoken after a nasty confrontation. Neither were ready to set it aside and throwing them into this event was a high probability of drama.
She met her mother for coffee and honestly shared her desire to be with family but her need to avoid adding to the drama and potentially ruining the event. Although a difficult conversation, they both agreed it would be best to have separate times to celebrate together. Holiday joy restored! The moral of the story? Face your issue and work to find a satisfactory solution. Compromise.
Take Advantage of Technology
With today's technology, you can live video chat with family and friends anywhere in the world. Can't make it to the holiday get-together in person (or choose not to attend) do it virtually. As an Empath, this can be the best of both worlds. This short controllable exposure with a toxic family can be a lifesaver.
Kicking Up Old Psychic Dust
I used to get very depressed every year around Christmas. I realized a lot of it was around decorating for the holidays. Seriously? That's supposed to be the fun part. Why was it depressing me? After some reflection, I realized every old ornament I was pulling out of the box was bringing up memories. These ornaments I inherited when mom died. This ornament was from the year of my... divorce, breakup, death of a loved one, financial issue, family trauma. Yikes! No wonder I was having no fun.
Not to mention some of the old family ornaments were downright ugly! Some were torn, tattered, and not my style. So I did the unthinkable. I threw them out and bought new ones that reflected who I am now. I know! Getting rid of the physical reminders of the past was a powerful act of letting go of past trauma and hurts that no longer served me. It felt wonderful.
I kept the decorations that were meaningful to me and brought me joy. I DID however smudge them to clear them of any old stale energy. I now decorate in a manner that brings me joy and reflects my family and lifestyle.
It's tempting to over-everything during the holidays. Overeat, overspend, over-drink, overexpose yourself to toxic family situations. Don't. The bill always comes due. If you're an Empath or Sensitive, these perceived coping mechanisms can leave you with a whopping holiday hangover. These emotional disruptions can take months to settle out. Financial strains can affect your credit scores and lead to arguments.
Instead, take a moment and be mindful of your action. Are you on auto-pilot? Is there a different choice that might be a short-term challenge but result in more joy long-term with no "hangover?" If you're only doing it because that's the way it's always been done, well, expect the same outcome as the last time.
Even if you're not an Empath or Sensitive, the holidays can be taxing on anyone. Take time to care for yourself during and afterward. Is that deadline or expectation real or self-imposed? Adjust unrealistic or rigid thinking about "how it has to be." Create a new expectation or don't do it if it's not fun!
If you've attended something that was toxic for you, deal with it right away. Smudge yourself. Cut your energetic cords, ground yourself, take a ritual cleansing salt bath or use your aura scrub. Light a candle and disperse the negativity by safely burning a list of grievances in your firepit. Whatever works for you, do it. Letting old negative energy linger is never a good plan.
I hope that helps you see you DO have choices when it comes to the holidays. Life is life. Sometimes it's warm and fuzzy, sometimes it's cold and prickly. We all experience some of both on and off. Having some tools at our disposal to deal with the not-so-joyful parts puts us back in control and on the path to having a great holiday.
Merry Christmas and Happy Allidays
The Rock Shop, sells healing crystals, books, aura cleansing salt soaps, aura scrubs, aromatherapy, and candles for any of your ritual needs. Contact the shop or stop in for more info. Susan is a Licensed Spiritual Healer Life Coach, Reiki Master, Certified Ho’ Oponopono Instructor, and Light Worker. She and her husband own the Nice Rock Shop at 311 Broadway Street, Paducah KY. Subscribe to her YouTube channel, Nice Rock Shop, follow her on social media, or contact her at NiceRockShop@gmail.com. The website is NiceRockShop.com.
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