The living tradition, which we share, draws from many sources:
Focusing on Friends and Family
The start of the holiday season can cause many people to struggle - family relationships can leave you feeling depleted and unsure of your next steps. Familial relationships can be some of the most confusing and complicated that we'll ever experience. Difficult relationships can be great teachers, but there comes a time when we just need peace. Peace can look different to all of us depending on our circumstances.
First, know that the "perfect" family doesn't exist - in this age of Internet perfection where many things are faked and photoshopped, don't fall for the belief that perfection exists in every family but your own. In reality, every family can have drama - it's up to US how we respond to it, because we only really have control over our OWN responses.
Learn how to recognize if you're being emotionally sapped by another person and take practical action to protect yourself against people who are not good for you. A favorite meditation can help you stay centered and calm.
Protect yourself from common "control dramas" that arise when people are feeling defensive - recognize the behaviors of the intimidator, the poor me, and the interrogator, and prepare in advance what you want to say to maintain your calm and enjoy the holiday.
Get past denial and distraction and learn the wisdom of forgiveness. Unwind and release the limiting beliefs that aren't true and learn your life and soul lessons with gratitude.
Learning and implementing these skills and the knowledge you'll gain is indeed hard work, but you'll continue to improve your life and shed the old - just in time to start the new month with increased joy, confidence, and strength.
Adapted from Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM
Same Choices, Same Results
“A change in perspective, behavior, or response can do so much more to help us move past issues left unresolved”
- Madisyn Taylor, DailyOM
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Reverend Nicholas Boke is the former minister of the First Universalist Parish of Chester, Vermont, and has spoken from several dozen UU pulpits in New England and beyond. He currently works as an international education consultant in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. He lives in Providence, RI, with his wife, Buffy, who recently retired from her ministry at First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Canton, MA.