* Let the train go down the track~ Need to make an appearance because it’s the right thing to do and aren't interested in feeling, dealing or healing, or even saying the right thing right now (you know what they did, they know what they did, period)? I always say, when there's a train coming down the track, get out of the way. Take a few deep breaths, count to ten, get something to eat, help in the kitchen, make call to someone who can help calm you down; and if that doesn't work, excuse yourself, go straight to the bathroom, and re-group. Before you say or do something you will regret, remind yourself like a mantra, “Why should you always take the high road? Because that's the kind of person you are.” Otherwise, leave town and send a Christmas card.
Have a pity party~ Speaking of leaving town: you might be fed up, feel the urge to fall apart, say the wrong thing, make a scene, behave badly, act inappropriately for the first time in your life, storm off and leave, or just stay in bed and wait for January. I say, let yourself have it. Maybe what you need is a little pity party. Go for it. Pick a start time and an end time and go for it. Maybe letting yourself feel what you've been stuffing is in order. Maybe you need to attend to some of what’s bottled up before it causes more damage to you or anyone else. Heck, you could invite some friends and just have a big negative merge! Who knows, it may be just what the doctor ordered.
* Do-overs~ If I feel like I can’t pull it together, or am unable to say something tactfully or gracefully, am intolerant, or simply full of crap and can’t get out of my own way, I ask for a “do over.” I attempt the right behavior, but if I can’t get it right, I will say something like "That didn't come out right, I am so sorry, can we try that again?" Or “Maybe it’s better if we talk about this another time.” Then, there's always Plan B. I leave and try again next year… Give yourself permission to do what you have to do to take care of yourself!!
Bottom line: during the holidays, there is no more pain to be felt than at any other time of year. According to John James’ Grief Recovery Handbook, this is a fact. There are simply many visible associations with painful memories that keep us trapped in our habitual thinking. If we can remember that we are all connected, that most of us are doing the best we can, and that most of the pain and suffering we experience is a projection, we are less likely to take things personally and more prone to create connection rather than greater separation!
For more on how to create healthy and happy holidays, go to www.maryannelive.com.