Growing Through The Holidays

Each year, the holidays bring my clients to new realizations about their family and the family dynamics which have shaped their relational patterns. The holidays can be joyful, intense, frustrating, or depressing. Or a combination of all of these. But the holidays can be a time of profound personal reflection and growth. 

If you go home for the holidays, pay attention to the relational patterns of your family, and how these patterns affect you. How do you play into these patterns? Is that a healthy way of engaging for you, or not? Pay attention to your emotions and the sensations you experience in your body. The emotional, visceral truth can always be found in your body, in your "gut response." 

After you identify unhealthy relational patterns in your family, notice how these patterns play out in your life. They certainly will, because these patterns, learned early on, become part of the structure of the brain. Then think about how you'd like these patterns to be different. Ask yourself if you can: 

  • hold different expectations from your relationships
  • behave differently in your relationships to make them healthier
  • hold a broader perspective, including the multitude of possibilities in your relationships

If you need help with this, therapy can be your ally.