The reality of the matter is that most holidays are hard. It is a gathering of every personality with memories that date back to diapers. There are bound to be thing that are said, feelings that are hurt, schedules that are messed up and perhaps even a cup of spilt milk. The question is not if something will happen. The question is will you react to the situation making things even worse or knowing the likely hood of something happening will you respond to the situation with grace and dignity?
I was blessed with a fast temper, fast tongue and very little respect for others. Back when I was a kid I would have lovingly been refered to as a “strong willed child.” I didn’t start out that way… at least that’s what I’m told. I was shy, always hiding in the shadows of my older sister. I don’t know when that all changed. There is a legendary story about me being forced to order my own dinner at taco bell that perhaps was the start of the “new me.” Over the years, and with the addition of a child, I have mellowed a lot. The fast temper, fast tongue and little respect are not far under the surface. I find that my family more than anyone can bring me back to that person. One “strong” correction from my Father and I am back to being 12. Wanting to have a voice, wanting to have a say but never knowing how. Here is where the decision comes in. Will I let myself react? Snap back at him?
Here’s the thing. All those hurt feelings that are really under the anger. All the uncomfortableness and tension. It doesn’t come from the people around you. It comes from you. Your decision to listen to the negative self talk that no one is saying out loud but for some reason you are convinced they are thinking. You are the one who’s not allowing yourself to have a voice. You are the one who’s not remembering that you are an adult and no matter what anyone says or does you have a choice. The choice to react or respond.
I strongly recommend responding, being yourself and allowing yourself to enjoy the holidays.