3 Big Steps To Turn Holiday Duty & Dread Into Love & Delight

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3 Big Steps To Turn Holiday Duty & Dread Into Love & Delight
Obligations, expectations & old wounds arise at the holidays. Here's help to make things better now.

Because big family holidays and celebrations tend to bring into focus the way we really feel–duty, dread or delight, here’s some relationship help insights to make it easier .


How is it for you?

Do you look forward to joining with your family and delighting in the celebration?

Or, is it obligation and duty that has you dragging yourself there?

I hope that you have a wonderful, loving, giving family where there is an abundance of love, generosity, openness and support. I’m writing this blog post for those of you for whom the holidays are more duty than delight to give you some insights that might be the relationship help you need.

There really isn’t much thanks giving if you are smiling through gritted teeth and sitting on tenterhooks waiting for someone to ask a question that is really none of his or her business.

On the other hand, joining together with people you love and care about naturally makes us want to give thanks and celebrate well.

So, which way is it for you?  And, what can you do to make this better?  Three important considerations for you:

1. YOU HAVE A RIGHT. You do not have to go to anywhere because you’re an adult now. It is your right to make your own decisions and place yourself in safe places where there is no need for anxiety.

Where one difficulty arises is that you want your family to “work”, to be functional, loving and supportive.

So, you go, year after year, and:

  • You hope people will be different.
  • You want them to accept you as you are right now.
  • You want to be respected for living in integrity with your own values, vision, beliefs and purpose.
  • You want people to be interested in you and supportive of you.
  • You want to feel safe, with no one attacking you with their expectations for your life.

And, that may happen. But, only if all those folks have an epiphany, an awakening that will help them see that the only life they have to live is their own, not yours!

2. YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY

You can be different with them. When one person in a system changes, the system changes. It might be slow, but it does happen. Of course, there is always the chance that the system will not change for the better. Some people are very entrenched in their ways, secure in their beliefs that they know the truth–for themselves and everyone else, too. AND, they are just itching to share that truth, too!

NOTE:  I have a big pet peeve: people who use this term and think it excuses their rudeness, intrusions, and judgments: “brutal honesty”. That is simply, in my opinion, an excuse to unleash your mouth, unfiltered, and justify it by saying “It’s for your own good.” or “Someone had to tell you.”  That is completely unnecessary. Please don’t be one of them!

What the ego hates is a boundary. It loathes, and rises up screaming, when a boundary is expressed, and it gets especially vicious when a boundary is maintained.  Your opportunity is to clarify your boundaries and learn to express them in ways that are totally kind and totally honest at the same time.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Rhoberta Shaler

Marriage/Couples Counselor

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD
The Relationship Help Doctor
Counseling. Mediation. Coaching. 

AUTHOR OF KAIZEN FOR COUPLES: Six Steps to Solve, Salvage or Strengthen Your Relationship

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