When you think of family what do you say….. Frustration Annoyance Mayhem Invasive Long Yelling OR Fun Affection Motivation Irreplaceable Likable Yourself When you think of family what do you want to say?
Whenever we are going to a social event with our daughter we remind her that other people may have different rules and ways of doing things but that when we are in another person’s presence we be the best we can be. We behave and remember our manners. Perhaps we can parent ourselves this holiday season in order to remind ourselves about the behavior we should exhibit and the behavior that we should showcase for others in order to respect the ways and wonders of those around us.
The holidays tend to bring out something in all of us that is unique to this time of year. Regardless if it is positive insight, reflective frustration, love and healing or self indulgence. The holidays are a time of change, an alteration of who we are and the relationships in our lives. As I get older the changes that take place within my family dynamics allow me to reflect not only on my personal self but also on all the relationships in my life. I perceive that many family members become someone they are not when they are together for the holiday season. Perhaps there is a combination of insincerity and lack of respect that makes the holiday cocktail so potent. This insincerity causes so much dissonance and dissatisfaction. Imagine if we could embrace who we are and remain genuine while also enjoying the beauty of being all together. Year-in and year-out I hear people say that blood is thicker than water, that family is family and no matter what family is most important. But what if this mentality is allowing a pass for those family members who show no respect? Perhaps a pass for all of us really? Just because you are family does not mean that you are not people, individual beings with feelings. Just because you are family does not mean that you are allowed to treat others with a lack of respect and kindness. It should be every family member’s personal responsibility to reflect on their own actions in order to ensure that the space you are taking up this holiday is filled with love, compassion and space for others. Is it exhausting? Yes. Will you do things you would not otherwise do? Yes. Might you roll your eyes at the needs of others at times? Perhaps.
Imagine if each and every family member focused not on the mixing pot of family within the holiday or the discomfort of travel and family dynamics but rather focused on being the best person they could be in that moment. Imagine if the holidays were a time when we all strived to be our best selves. Imagine if we took the judgment and cruelty out of it and instead remained receptive to the needs of everyone else. It will be hard, it will be long, and it will be exhausting but it will be worth it.
I urge everyone to be kind, passionate and most importantly to be self-aware of the person you are and of those around you. This holiday I ask for respect. Good luck, ‘tis the season and happy holidays to all of you.