Getting Together for the Holidays – or Not

It’s Your Choice

Right now, during the holidays we’re being cautioned not to gather, not to travel, not to see our families. Whether you choose to abide by that is up to you. That’s not the focus of this article.

For some of you, you are choosing not to have extended family into your home this year or go to their home.  That’s ok, it’s your choice. It’s about your personal safety.

Some people are concerned their family won’t take that news so well. They will disagree because they don’t have the same concerns you do.

A client of mine lives with her mom. She’s choosing not to allow extended family into their home for the holidays due to safety concerns for herself and her elderly mother. She’s concerned her sisters will not like that idea and will fight her on it. She’s predicting and gearing up for a power struggle.

Power struggles and fights are never pleasant. They can also ruin families for good. Most of us would not want that.

My advice to her?

Re-frame it.

It’s Your Choice, Not a Fight

Don’t anticipate a power struggle, instead see it as this is your personal choice. This is what I feel is right for me and my mother. Her mother could choose to leave and go visit family instead of coming to her home, but she doesn’t have to. She can stay put in the safety of her own home because it feels right for her.

Doesn’t it feel better, lighter, softer to say to yourself, this is my choice vs gearing up for a fight? It does for me.

Don’t anticipate a fight, just see it as your choice. If they confront you on it, calmly explain your choice and move on. It’s called setting a boundary. We all know there are many boundary violators out there. They don’t like it when you impose a boundary. There might be some push back. Hold your ground. And don’t anticipate they’ll push your boundary.

See the outcome you desire.  

That’s always the “trick” in manifesting, isn’t it? Visualize what you want to come true. That’s why vision boards are popular. They’re a literal visual device to see your dreams come true.

Instead of anticipating your family giving you push-back, imagine them respecting your choice this year. They may not like it. Who said they have to like it? You don’t care if they don’t like it or agree with it. All you care about it is them not disrupting your sanity by starting a fight about it.

It can happen.

Visualize it.

And feel good about it because it’s your choice. It’s not a battle cry, it’s just a different point of view. We know some people don’t do well with opposing points of view. That’s their problem, not yours. Yes, you can say, “But they’ll make it my problem!” True, but you don’t have to engage. That’s where we get caught up.

Don’t Engage

We feel like we have to engage, fight back, defend our position. You can if you want to. But what happens when you fight back? The fight continues. What happens if you don’t fight? There’s no fight.

It’s like bullies on the schoolyard. They taunt kids until they get upset or blow up because they’re looking for the reaction. If you don’t react, if you walk away, they realize you’re no fun to taunt and they move on.

It’s the same with your family. See them as having an opposing point of view. That’s all. They’re entitled to think differently; we all are. It gets ugly when we think we have to convince others of our point of view. Or when they feel it is their duty to change our opinion. Nope. We’re all entitled to our opinions. You know the saying, “Opinions are like blankety-blank, we all have one.”  We do and we have the right to think it.

Make It So

Let your holiday season go a lot smoother by not enforcing your choice on others and not allowing them to enforce their choice on you. See the outcome you want. Don’t see it as a fight, it’s just a choice. That’s all. The choice doesn’t happen to coincide with theirs and that’s ok.

Make your choice and stick with it. See yourself as just having an opposing point of view, that’s it. No fight, no push-back, no family fall-out. Just a choice.

That will give you much more serenity. You’re not fighting, you’re just sticking to your choice, not your guns as in the saying, “stick to your guns.” Guns implies a fight. You’re not fighting.

See the outcome you desire and stick with it. Repeat your mantra if need be, “it’s my choice, it’s my choice.”  Don’t add the “and I’m sticking to it” part because that feels like obstinance. We’re not trying to be obstinate, we’re just abiding by our own personal choices.

It’s my choice. It will go smoothly. I visualize it. I know it. It’s my choice.

And so it is.

P.S. This strategy of re-framing and seeing your opinion as your choice can be used any time, not just for the holidays.

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