While it’s true that there’s no place like home for the holidays, there’s also no place like home to amplify our emotions, illuminate our differences, trigger our sensitivities, and heighten our reactivity.
This year, given the atmosphere of uncertainty and divisiveness within our culture, it feels especially important that we stay centered, open, and conscious as we interact with those whose perspectives we (sometimes vehemently) disagree with.
Here are a few reminders to help you do just that:
- Closed-mindedness is a protection strategy. The hurt and fear being hidden are often immense.
- It’s not your responsibility to change people. In fact, one of the most respectful, honoring things you can do for someone is to allow them to grow and evolve in accordance with their own readiness and inner knowing.
- The harder it is to connect, the more opportunity you have to get creative (and to connect with yourself).
- You only really have control over two things: your interpretations and your reactions.
- Asking yourself, “What is the most generous assumption I can make about this person?” is a great place to start before engaging.
- A gentle, awake presence can be just as affecting as a volatile, reactive one.
- It is possible (and noble) to feel hurt and allow it to pass through you without transferring it to others.
- Stepping out of toxic patterns and cycles starts with seeing them clearly and noticing any part you may be playing.
- Self-compassion increases your ability to extend compassion to others.
- “You could be right,” is a great way to shut someone up respectfully (though without conceding).
- Curiosity is the opposite of judgment.
- There is virtually nothing you can say or do to change someone’s religious or political position. There are dozens of ways, however, to soften their hardened hearts.
- Most people feel misunderstood and under-appreciated, often.
- Everyone is doing the best they can based on their ability and/or understanding.
- Stepping outside and breathing deeply is never a bad idea.
- What other people think of you is none of your business.
- People are telling their own story. Even when you’re the subject of their judgment or anger, it’s never really about you.
- Though, in general, people have either a fixed or growth mindset, most people are open-minded about something.
- Your reaction to people’s hate and judgment are as influential to your children (if not more so) than the people who hate and judge.
- You don’t have to engage people or answer questions that reduce you. You can always step away.
- Every one of your relatives is better at and/or more experienced than you at something.
- The desire to avoid suffering is universal. Our strategies for doing so are what make us seem so different.
- Most everyone is emotionally, physically, or spiritually starved for something.
- There is nothing you can say or do while triggered that couldn’t be handled better when you’re calm.
- Open hearts open hearts.
Thank you for braving challenging connections, friends. You’re helping to heal this world.
Sending peace and love,
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**Photo credit goes to the amazing Jote Khalsa.
Beautiful and well timed… as always..xo
Thank you, Michelle. Happy end of December to you. <3