The holidays can be rife with conflict, division and struggle. Here are some ideas that can help.
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Retailers brilliantly convey the magical spirit of the holidays — the decorations and gifts, bountiful banquet tables, surrounded by people joyfully gathered together, hearts brimming with love.
Maybe that’s reality for some of us, but for many, that’s not the story at all.
The holidays can be rife with conflict, division and struggle. Wounds lie barely covered, easily reopened with a word or a glance. Conflicts skim the surface of conversation, tripped into eruption by landmine topics. Losses loom large.
Here are strategies for evolving three troublesome topics that can create strain during the holidays. Applying these strategies does not guarantee a picture perfect holiday like we see on TV. But we can certainly avoid looking like a ‘reality’ show!
The Topic: Conflict & Familial Wounds
The difficult mother, aunt or cousin who gets under your skin, needling and hurtful, or the age-old rivalry between siblings lend anxiety and dread to the strongest of family members. What family stories do you hold that open your wounds?
Learning to let go of wounds and old stories frees up space for other connections to emerge.
The Strategy: Drop the Rope
Recognize that your energy is tied up in the difficult interactions with the other person. Drop your end of the rope — the hurt, anger, fear, anxiety and judgment that informs your side of the story. Dropping the rope leaves the other person without your energy to pull and tug on. A tug of war can’t exist without someone on each end of the rope. Your family member may attempt to pull you back into the drama. But you can leave your end of the rope untethered by choosing to shift the dynamic and release the struggle.
Those of us who are energy healing practitioners call this “Clearing Cords.” Here’s additional reading if you’re interested: Clearing Cords: How Cathy Smoothed Her Groove Back.
The Topic: Politics
Nothing gets the juices flowing like opposing political viewpoints staring each other down over the once-a-year dinnerware.
We’re upset. We’re charged. And so are they. So when the room is flooded with emotions, here’s a strategy so that you don’t get swept away.
The Strategy: Set Your Chakras
Many spiritual people are highly sensitive and empathic, frequently flooded by others’ emotions. If that sounds familiar, this second-chakra skill is for you.
Chakras are designed to open and close, giving you the ability to regulate the flow of energy. Each chakra has an optimal setting, but often some of our chakras are too open while others are too closed.
The second chakra, specifically, tends to be thrown wide open, allowing others’ emotions to overtake us. If you look at the chakra illustration below, you’ll notice that the optimal setting for the second chakra is 25%. So, the strategy is to reset your chakra back down to 25% and to do it often.
For a detailed explanation of how to do that, read this article: Adjusting Your Chakras.
By setting your chakras, you’ll have access to authentic, caring, creative responses and freedom from caged reactions.
The Topic: Death & Dying
Losing a family member or receiving a terminal diagnosis is difficult at any time, and especially so during the holidays. To avoid the pall and provide distraction, families can default to false gaiety, or a forced attempt to create magical experiences to assuage the pain and loss.
It’s difficult to speak about loss, and it’s hard to be present to raw, tender emotions like fear, anxiety, grief, pain, anger, depression. What might bring solace and healing?
The Strategy: Communion & Heartfelt Listening
This can become your opportunity for intimacy. Make space to be with what is, to invite reflection, awareness, grace and acceptance into the reality of death and dying. Light a candle. Sit quietly together, accessing your heart chakra. Invite a few moments of stillness and reflection. Invite sharing. Perhaps the ill or dying family member will be moved to express his grief, fear, pain and sadness. Others may feel ready to share their thoughts and feelings. It’s very real, intimate and healing to listen, cry, laugh about the lived life and accept the end of life.
May your holidays hold the energy of space, grace, intimacy, acceptance.
May you let go, and experience yourself and others with present moment awareness.
May you find ways to come together in communion, through the understanding of the things we all share — hearts, hopes and aspirations.
The Energy Healing Institute (EHI) offers education for the Consciously Curious. EHI’s courses cater to seasoned integrative practitioners as well as to those wishing to expand their energetic knowledge base. Click here for a full listing of courses, including courses that cover Clairvoyance, Energy Clearing, Conscious Channeling, Manifesting, and Conscious Activism. To learn more visit energyhealinginstitute.org.