Let’s face it. The holidays are stressful. Last week I heard several stories of family disunity and dysfunction. A father lives in the same town as his grown daughter and grandchildren, but doesn’t even as much as call them on Thanksgiving. In other scenarios, step-children appear to get a greater degree of attention then blood relatives on a holiday. Holiday plans are made. Family members are purposely left out. The possibilities for conflict and hurt feelings seem endless. The holidays are stressful. Family fails to be family.
I think I have found a cure. Well…maybe I am a little optimistic. Perhaps I have found one way to cope with the sadness. This coping mechanism will require a piece of paper and a pen. Are you ready?
· List the people in your life who love you. I am thinking about those that care about you no matter what you do. (Or don’t do). My guess is that there will be members of your family that don’t make that list. Don’t worry over that. Who loves you?
· Who has blessed your life this year? Write that person’s name down. How have they blessed your life this year? Write that down too. Take your time and include the specifics.
· Give those individuals a priceless gift. Give the gift of encouragement. Send those you love a card, a note, inbox them, text them. Tell them you love them. Convey to them how they have blessed your life in 2015. Be detailed. Spell it out. Explain why they are a blessing to you.
You have family members that don’t give you the time of day during the holidays. They fail to communicate with you. They are not inclusive. They make plans for holiday gatherings, but you are left out. Or…they commit an offense that is far worse…They fail to reach out to your children during the holidays.
Others have to deal with family members that are mean spirited or purposely divisive. And still other families are characteristically passive aggressive. They exchange gifts with each other, but you are left out. In this cases, it's more about what they don't do or say. The possibilities are endless! The ways that human beings can hurt each other seem unlimited.
How do you cope with such blatant selfishness? Get out a piece of paper and start listing those who love you…Who has blessed you?
I love this quote:
Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones you accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what.
I would write more, but my list is long this year. I need to get started...