Holiday fun or drama ahead?
Sisters Emily, Tara and Patricia begin their annual Family Holiday conversation.
One particular tradition is now a sticking point: the Gag Gifts exchange.
In years past, gag gifts seemed to generate laughter and giggles for everyone. Both giver and receiver enjoyed the unexpected reactions and squeals of silly delight. It was understood and tacitly agreed that the exchange was fun entertainment. Negative consequences or any feeling of personal attack never entered the consideration.
Emily texts her sisters: “Are we exchanging gag gifts this year?”
Cerebral sister Patricia immediately comments:
“The gag gift concept is ridiculous. It’s a waste of time and money. Why gift something no one wants? What if a gift offends? What’s the point?”
Rubbed the wrong way, Tara jumps in:
“I love gag gifts! It’s a fun, playful family game. Plus, mom and dad have fun digging up forsaken treasures and laughing when we open them. I don’t think anything is offensive or harmful. For once can you lighten up, Patricia?”
As words ricochet between Patricia and Tara, Emily lays down her phone and reflects on the exchange.
” How can this simple tradition generate such strong feelings? It seemed to me a simple yes or no response. Why did this conversation turn so quickly into drama?”
Emily’s mind races toward a worst-case outcome:
“If emotions escalate, will we resurrect familiar old wounds and end up not speaking to each other? Maybe even not spending the holidays together? Is there an underlying message I am missing?
Seeking a peaceful outcome with a deliberate intention is new to Emily. But this time she is okay with feeling vulnerable. Something inside desires a break from the all too familiar reactions of her past. She now deliberately imagines there is potential to create a better way for herself and all her family beloveds.
Emily discusses the scenario with her coach and frames the situation as a step into the world of vulnerability.
“Can this situation resolve peacefully? Who will be willing to compromise?
What is my position? In the past, I resorted to upset, gossip and drama. Today I’ll try to stay neutral and offer humor to this situation. My heart desires to intend and allow for a positive solution.”
Coach affirms Emily’s new direction:
“This scenario is a wonderful opportunity to allow yourself to feel vulnerable. You may perceive vulnerability as weakness. Yet its energy is quite the opposite. Vulnerability is a return to wholeness and strength. In moments of vulnerability we either tune into the mind’s outer noise which creates further chaos, or we expand inside to listen to the voice of intuition and our heart. There are competing voices capable of imparting wisdom..
Awareness leads to healing
In a journal Emily outlines her personal definition of vulnerability:
Explore all sides of a situation.
An open perspective allows possibilities. Although I have contributed to family chaos, I am now choosing thoughtful responses to stay on course with peace.
Allow myself time and motivation to dream.
So much of my life involves running around being drawn by the outer world. Now I seek to spend time with my dreams and give them room to roam in my imagination.
Forgive myself and others.
I intend to transform my low-vibes using my open heart. It may appear that an open heart is exposed to pain, but it’s the only way to clear out what’s holding me back.
Speak my truth.
It is not easy to express peace in times of conflict. People want to me to take sides, fuel the fire and go back to the familiar place of defensiveness. The heaviness of holiday conflict consumes so much of my mental and emotional energies. I can’t sleep and am constantly pre-occupied by the unfolding drama. I prefer to be open and vulnerable to generate healing energy in myself and others.
Trust the unknown.
As I move away from being 100% affected by the outer world, I turn towards my inner world for fresh answers. This seems like a vulnerable decision because I won’t revert to past behaviors to lead the way. I remind myself to seek the wisdom of Peace, Love and Joy. These eternal truths reside within me …. today they are the perfect compass to lead me home.
Surrender to a higher cause.
I am not in charge nor in control of anything or anyone. By choosing vulnerability I open myself up to being surprised with the outcome. Surrender gives me instant relief from struggle and limiting thoughts. It’s gratifying to keep myself empowered and in the moment.
Exploring vulnerability energizes Emily. She finds contentment with newfound inner reflection. With peace and love leading, Emily feels less confined by the past. Emily closes her eyes and imagines a spirited and peaceful sisters’ brainstorm. Joined with their hearts and minds, the three sisters agree to explore multiple paths to foster their shared Joyful Holiday Spirit.