Well, Christmas Day and all it encompasses has now passed, how did you fare?
My reference is not to the physical gifts you received, but to the emotional ones.
Were you gifted with smiles, warmth, love? Or as often occurs when families come together, did you find yourself hurtled back to your childhood and the emotional stuff that seems to be enmeshed with that?
If you found yourself as a time traveler, please don’t dwell on this, as you have been gifted the opportunity to review your part in the process and adjust your reaction for future reference.
In our adult lives, professional and otherwise, we are confident, mature, independent, assertive and responsible, but when families come together we commonly fall into old patterns and behaviours. The annoying brother, the critical parent the……. It can be a long list!
Those familial antagonisms occurred because the person who pushed your buttons does not recognise the adult you now are, they see the child/teen and speak to you as such. Our very clever brains have their own little filing cabinet where memories and behaviours are stored, and as soon as you heard those words the cabinet flew open, the filed memory was recaptured and you reacted accordingly.
So….. You did not successfully manage the situation with your usual confidence, so what now?
Forgive yourself is number one. Feeling upset about your parent or sibling’s behaviour or enveloping yourself in disappointment will not prevent their future actions or words. Managing yourself is key.
Understand that your reaction was a childhood learned behaviour and as an adult, you are now in control of you. Appreciate that whoever flicked your switch was also stepping into learned behaviours and roles. Accept and learn from this knowing.
Reality is, you cannot alter the behaviour of another, however, you have control of you.
So, when you next find yourself placed in a precarious family situation, choose your reaction with an awareness and make that choice from your heart not your head. Heart choices will never disappoint, will never hurt another, and will never betray your true self.
React with love not the memory file 💗