This time of year, with holidays and celebration approaching, is supposed to be a time of great joy and connection, yet for many it is also stressful. Over the past eighteen months plus, we dealt with social distancing, and distancing ourselves from extended family. Perhaps we were locked down with our immediate family, or on our own. Through this break from people, we forgot how we react around certain people.
Sometimes people take us back to who we were in the past, causing us to react from that space. Some of us may have the desire to get everything perfect for the people who are joining us. Being around certain people can also bring up old issues we thought we had dealt with.
We can choose to rediscover our joy and let go of the stress. We can consciously choose to be who we are right now in every interaction. The person that we were a few months ago, has changed through our experiences. We have evolved and grown into a new version of us.
Wherever you are at this time of year, find the fun, joy and celebration that these next few weeks can bring by asking yourself:
- What do you want from next few weeks? What is your deeper desire – not the perfect dinner or gathering – rather, do you wish for connection? Do you hunger for laughter around the table? What do you want the people who join you to experience? Could you find joy if everything did not go according to your plan? When you know the deeper reason for your gathering, you are able to release the expectation of perfection and instead, remind yourself of the most important reason for your gathering. Your peace becomes infectious and those around you feel happier because you are happier.
When you know you are going to be around people that bring out a version of you that doesn’t make you happy, you can choose to:
- Walk away from the interaction without engaging.
- Ask yourself what you hope will happen from talking with them. If what you want is not possible, do you really want to continue?
- Instead of going down the same path as usual, can you come from a different place in your words while listening to where the other person is coming from?
- Ask yourself if their opinion matters, and if so, why.
- If they are not someone who has been good for you, walk away, avoid them or do whatever you need to remove yourself from the toxic space. You don’t need to be around anyone you don’t want to. Choose who you want to spend this time with and remind yourself that you do not have to be around anyone who makes you feel like less.
- You don’t need to explain yourself and your decisions to anyone else. If you have made these decisions because they are right for you, you don’t have to justify them to anyone.
Create a list of experiences or even objects that take you to your happy place; add things you are grateful for and the reasons for your gratitude. Use this to remind yourself of the joy you deserve to have.
What experience, object or memory never fails to make you smile and feel joy? Share in the comments