Going home for the holidays is never as simple as it sounds. Whether you are literally traveling home to the place you grew up or simply gathering together with the people you grew up with, you are probably going to interact with family and old friends in the coming weeks. While there is a lot to enjoy about reuniting with loved ones, there are also some uncomfortable emotions that arise at these get-togethers as you likely have at least one person in your family who pushes your buttons or stirs up issues and emotions that are less than joyful. But you don’t have to let it spoil your cheer! With the help of these energy medicine techniques, you can improve your relations with your relatives, and have a happier, calmer, more fun home—literally or figuratively—this holiday season.
- Embrace forgiveness.
Family can be a mixed blessing, and the holidays can bring up long-standing issues between loved ones. Perhaps you and your cousin had a fight about something when you were teens and neither of you seems to be able to move past it, or maybe you felt betrayed by a loved one and are still waiting for an apology even though it’s been years. Whatever the issue is, seeing the person who wronged you, especially at a time when you are supposed to feel love and joy, can be make you depressed, anxious, or angry.
This year, try forgiving your loved one. Carrying a grudge is so much more detrimental to your own health and wellbeing than it is to theirs, creating blocks in your chakras and hindering your spiritual progress. When you finally let that anger and resentment go, you will feel free, like a huge weight has been lifted from your chest and heart. Through energy healing, I was able to forgive my father for his abuse and my mother for her blind eye and coldness, and I have witnessed first-hand at my healing courses the relief of so many students who muster up the courage to forgive. Meditation, working with a spiritual teacher or energy healer, and journaling about your feelings are great ways to boost the process of forgiveness.
It’s not always easy, but forgiveness allows you to process the trauma and release it for good, clearing out all the negativity attached to the grudge and smoothing out your interactions with the person in the future. You will probably find that your shift in attitude toward them will create a similarly positive effect towards you, and you’ll both feel better. Even if the person doesn’t forgive you back, your internal response will be less reactionary and heathier for your mind, body, and soul—and your holidays! Forgiveness is the best gift you can give yourself this year.
- Don’t engage in negativity.
You probably have that family member who just likes to push your buttons to see when you’ll pop. For many of my students that person is a mother or mother-in-law, who picks and criticizes, and makes snide remarks or backhanded compliments about everything from their clothes to their cooking. Another common family dynamic that creates negativity is sibling rivalry, which can lean to uncomfortable competitiveness or nights of each sibling trying to one-up the other at every turn. Tense family interactions can be fueled by a range of emotions including jealousy, fear, insecurity, shame, bitterness, spite, and a million other feelings that are bubbling all year but often seem to emerge during the holiday season.
Whenever possible, don’t engage in the drama. If your sister says for the fifth time that her mashed potatoes are better than yours, or your father-in-law mentions again that you paid too much for your house, just let it wash over you without soaking into your skin. Use the energy healing methods you’ve learned to maintain an emotional distance, call upon the calm and peace you’ve gained through meditation and grounding, and use your expanded awareness to view the situation from a place of love and forgiveness and just let it all go. Don’t snap back, but instead change the direction of the conversation or say something like, “Thank you for your opinion.” A fight can only escalate if both parties participate, so if you take a step back, the negativity will usually fizzle out.
- Focus on renewing your healthy relationships.
Just as you have someone in your family who enjoys making you feel bad, I’m sure you also have at least one person in your family or friend group who makes you feel loved and appreciated. Focus on those positive, affirming relationships! Cultivating healthy relationships is an important part of feeling good about yourself and keeping your chakras and energy field clear and charged. When you surround yourself with people who have similar values, and who respect and appreciate you for who you are, your energy field doesn’t get drained the way it does around negative Nellies.
So let those in your life who support and care for you know how much you appreciate them at your next family gathering. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate gesture—though chocolate never hurt anyone in moderation—but take a moment to show or tell your loved that they’re important to you. Remember, they are probably feeling some of the same tensions you feel during these family get-togethers, so a nice moment with you is sure to life their spirits. This also engages you in the practice of gratitude, which will help shift your perspective into the positive.
However you spend your holidays, and whoever you spend your time with, keep in mind that the true purpose of this season is to spread light and love to others, through your words, your actions, and your attitude. Be the light you want to see and it will radiate out and then reflect back to you, creating concentric circles of light and love that extend far beyond you and your family and bring happiness for the holidays and joy to the world.