Hello SOTGC community,
Are you planning a trip back to your home town, or to your family home, for the holidays? Well, in this last post of the series navigating the holiday season as a healthy, peaceful and awesome woman we will look at how to return to our parent’s/family home, actually remain peaceful, AND let them see the gorgeous, awesome you that those in your daily life get to enjoy. What, you say that doesn’t ever happen? I get that, but it’s possible!
If you missed the last post, “4 Keys to Powerful Peace Over the Holiday Season, check it out here .
No matter how old we get, when we return home to our family home, or our home town, it can feel like we never left. Not because our family members are mean or bad people, just because it’s natural human behavior to expect people to stay the same. Especially if family members don’t see us on a daily basis, the expectation to be the same is very strong. In fact, we might get the repeat questions and begin to feel like we should be wearing a T-shirt with the answers, like this one from LookHuman.com:
Needless to say, it can be very difficult to be the person we know we are in our daily lives when we are “back home.”
Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can go home for the holidays and still be ourselves.
Here’s 5 Steps to doing just that!
- Remember who you are! You know the person you want to be, and can be, the majority of the time so remind yourself and give yourself permission to be this person even “back home.” Consider enlisting some friends you can text or call who can remind you of your real identity. On the flip side, remember who your family might expect you to be and give them the opportunity to get to know you as you are now.
- Critique the typical script. If we sat down for coffee, we could probably share how things typically go down from the moment we arrive at the front door to the last drop of eggnog. So this year, stop to pause and critique that old script. Identify what you like and don’t like, being specific about changes. Again, invite your healthy community to speak into your ideas for changes then invite them to coach you as you implement the new script.
- Rewrite your old part. In a movie, when one part changes, it impacts the whole scene. So make your changes and stick with your true self. If you are coming into the old scene with your powerful peace as we discussed in the last post, you more than likely will act out of healthy intentions. Think of a specific way you can lovingly address something that bothers you and partner with your healthy community to behave as an emotionally mature woman.
- Be prepared, they can’t handle the truth. Going back to that old script, you know who is going to say what and probably how it will be received, so realize any change creates resistance. Many times our family members can’t handle the truth of maybe how they impact others, or maybe they might not like the truth that we actually have grown up. Your healthy actions that help you remain peaceful will set you up to handle the resistance kindly, patiently, and firmly.
- Try a dress rehearsal then redesign. When you are actually there with your family, put the previous thoughts into action. As you do so, be adaptable to redesign your script but keep your ultimate goal of remaining the healthy, hopeful, and awesome you. Remember to moderate anything that might get in the way of you being your true self (a.k.a. eating your feelings, alcohol, abusing substances, sleeping away the day, unhealthy relationships, etc.)
One final note for returning home and enjoying the holidays: this takes time, grace and truth. Time to be mindful, to make the needed steps and implement. Grace to give yourself and others. Truth to consider your role and any needed applications.
Here’s your next steps:
Which of the above five steps resonates with you most strongly?
Who will you invite to be your coaching call, or your go-to support, for when you are “back home”?
Write out your plan and then put it on your mobile device so you can access it as needed
Have you already tried a plan similar to this? If so, how did it go? If it went poorly, will you try this one?
I love my family and we worked through our own amount of dysfunction. After a few tries of implementing the above steps, we can now see each other as we actually are rather than playing the same old script.
Ladies, let’s do this!
A special thanks to LMFT’s, Liz Gentry, A. Grizzle and D. Buton for their tips I integrated within my above steps.
P.S. Are you a parent with kids returning home? Email me for a few tips for parents with adult kids who have returned for a brief stay after the holidays.