Holidays

Suffer if You’d Like and be Thankful

The holiday season can be such a mixed bag for some. The expectations that maybe we place on others of doing what we want or acting a certain way and letting those things determine how we feel or what we do. If this is you, this year I’d like to offer you a new option: hold your heart and openly embrace your suffering. As an empath, I have suffered a lot, for myself and others, for people that I know and for people a world away, and most of all for the ancestors who have created the world I live in.

Yes, all the immigrants who came to this country seeking freedom or inevitably learning it. Some learning freedom through their enslavement and some learning freedom by taking freedom from others. Make no mistake about it, over time, from my prospective being a; religiously righteous, entitled, hateful (the illusion of being superior), and ignorant human creates as much suffering for those who express those qualities as it does for those who are their victims.

So if you’re the one that struggles on a holiday to find peace amongst the rediculousness, when you contemplate the conflict of this holiday and it’s origins or reflect upon the current state of politics or what your world is coming to. If the suffering begins to descend down upon you, remember this: your creator gives you suffering so that your heart may open, millions of your ancestors did not have the privilege of suffering openly, and suffering openly and an open heart generate love and tolerance.

Be grateful for the suffering when it comes your way. It is a gift that your heart needs to expand fully into the strength and protection of love. Very possibly you are the voice for an unexpressed ancestor and you are being given the privilege of opening your heart through their pain. Tears don’t make you weak they strengthen your vision to acknowledge the creator’s most awesome possibility for you and those you know if you will embrace it.

This Thanksgiving be grateful for your suffering and the suffering of others, it means hearts are opening everywhere.

6 Strategies to Put the Function Back in Dysfunction for the Holiday

Right now it is a uniquely emotional time for all of us in some way. The holidays can have their own difficulties attached so when you’re going to your dysfunctional family gathering, seeing those long lost friends, or are maybe spending this year alone. Here are a few little spiritual tidbits to chew on for the season. Now, hold on to your boot straps and go forth!

What You Put In, Is What You Get Out

Remember that the energy and thoughts you put into the season is exactly what you will take away from it. If you’ve decided to host this year and secretly feel like you always give too much; this doesn’t bode well for you. Consider writing down a positive affirmation;

“Giving brings me joy, and I am thankful to be surrounded by people to receive”.

Self Pity-Not Good

If you find yourself alone this year or aren’t interested in any of the invitations you’ve received, DON’T give in to self-pity. Remember, these days are what you make of them. Take this opportunity to reflect on what really brings you joy. Make a list of 10 of them, and then choose one to make happen. One of my favorite things is a sacred ritual. Something that you do to show your commitment and discipline towards what you want. There is an old Guatemalan ritual for traveling more in the New Year. Take a suitcase and walk around your block on the first of January. The size of the suitcase and the length of the walk is said to determine how much you will travel. At the end of the walk I was laughing so hard I didn’t care where I went, and I certainly no longer felt stuck. Incidentally, I did travel more that year.

Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day

Consider that you won’t be able to undo a life time of ancestral conflict over just one turkey, so let yourself off the hook just for this month. Save your deeply honest comments for another time and focus on kindness. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do is just say hello.

A Little Honey Goes a Long Way

Sit down 24 hours before your family gathering and write out three nice things about everyone attending. Even if all you can come up with is, “Aunt Agatha’s bellowing voice deserves to be on Broadway.” Now of course if you’ve got 100 people coming, just do this for the people who render the highest irritation quotient for you every year.

Moderation: All it’s Cracked Up To Be

Everything in moderation is the name of the game. Nothing adds insult to emotional injury like over indulging in liquor and food. If you drink too much you’ll say something you mean, and eating too much always precipitates rudeness.

Always Another Day To Talk Politics

Everyone knows it’s best not to discuss politics and religion, while trying to make new friends or keeping the peace, but if you know that Uncle Ben just lost his favorite dog, please don’t bring it up at the dinner table. Take him for a spin around the block after dinner or catch him on his way to the bathroom, and offer him your condolences in a swift and gentle manner. If he decides he is comfortable with a full conversation, he’ll let you know.

Ace in Your Pocket

Now here is the Ace in the hole; this is what you keep in your pocket and refer to when the going at the family gathering gets rough. This is meant to be used in extreme cases only, and is definitely not one size fits all. If you are showing up to the same dinner every year that your father gets drunk and tells you what a disappointment you are, be prepared this year. Bring one item of irreverence. To keep in your pocket, hide in your purse, or even put in your shoe; to remind you that the power a person or situation has over you is the power you give it. In this case I might get a small rock and write a note to wrap around it that says, “Those who live in glass houses should not cast the first stone.”One year I put a slice of bologna in my shoe, to remind me that nothing is really as it seems.

Most of all, take deep breathes, keep your humor, and tell yourself you are loved, peaceful, powerful, and gosh darn it…people like you, because you are and somewhere someone does. Happy Holidays!