Oh, we so hope everyone will be different when we visit them this holiday season...especially the difficult, fearful and judgmental ones! In fits of wishful thinking, we hope that any growth we have achieved during the past year will have, by osmosis, been passed along to them. They will see us differently. Approve of us. Or, at least, stop harping about our hair, weight, relationship, children, career, or financial status, right?
Let's just be honest: it is very unlikely that anything or anyone will have changed much. But, if you have changed, you can accommodate them. Annoying or irritating as it sometimes seems, they are just being who they are, with the perceptions, perspectives and expectations that they have from their history. Just love 'em. BE WHO YOU ARE!
If you have matured and are gracious, accepting, compassionate and loving, they simply won't bother you. You'll be too busy being you. Think of it this way: when you are pouring from a pitcher, nothing else can get in. Be that pitcher. Fill it with love, acceptance and gratitude and that is what you will pour. FILL THEM UP!
Yes! They may have pushed you over the edge in previous years, danced on your last nerve. Yes! They are likely to comment on things that are none of their business now that you're an adult. But, remember, they really don't see you that way. They still see you as Betty's kid, and that they have the same duty of care they undertook when you were twelve. Don't be looking for understanding. UNDERSTAND THEM.
When you are focused on being the real you--the one you have grown into at this stage of your life, what Mom, Dad, Grandma or Uncle Stew have to say is just them being Mom, Dad, Grandma and Uncle Stew. They haven't changed before. They are unlikely to have changed this year. ACCEPT THEM.
Yes! It would be wonderful if everyone had become more open-minded, accepting, loving and wise. Why should it all rest with you? Because you are the author of your holiday story. You can shift it from grousing about who they are not, to being appreciative that they care about you--even if they express their caring by prying.
Take the lead. You can do it! You can change the season for everyone. BE THE LOVE, PEACE & JOY OF THE HOLIDAYS!