Many of us get called to interact with family this time of year. (Around Christmas and New Year's.
That can be a mixed bag and be loaded, emotionally. Familial patterns can be comforting but they can also be suffocating. We can find ourselves slipping into old roles to accommodate parents, siblings, spouses and relatives. This is where boundaries are needed. Boundaries do not need to be walls. A boundary can simply be us holding the awareness of what we will, and will not, participate in. This kind of boundary does require some preparatory work. We need to be aligned and attuned with our own needs and values in order to practice boundaries in this way. These types of boundaries also require that we are in integrity with our yes and no.
Good holiday hygiene practice is not engage in anything that we would not ordinarily participate in during our regular life, or at least to moderate. That means if we do not enjoy the consumption of alcohol, but perhaps the rest of the family does, we can give ourselves permission to abstain. If we do not eat certain foods or engage in conversations that we find draining, we can graciously say no to heaping our plates, and we can graciously bow out of conversations that might trigger emotional setbacks or cause us to regress. Just because it’s being served doesn’t mean we have to pile it on our plate, (physically or metaphorically).
Copyright © 2020 - Justice Bartlett