For many, the holidays conjure wonderful images of family members happily opening gifts, relaxing in front of a warm fire or gathered around a delightful home-cooked meal.
However, for others, the scenes they envision are of conflict and tension.
Whether or not we have great relationships with the people we spend the holidays with, we can all use some tips on how to successfully navigate interactions with family and friends during what can be a stressful time of year.
Three steps to a joyous holiday season
If you want to fully experience all the happiness and fulfillment that the holidays (and life) have to offer, let go of anger, frustration, jealousy and resentment.
Buddha said, “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
In other words, you’re only hurting yourself when you feel angry, hurt or despondent in any way.
So, instead of holding onto things that bother you, take charge and bring the best version of yourself to the surface. You can do that by taking the following three-step approach to help you move through the experience and then move on with peace and love in your heart:
1. Accept the situation. When something upsets you, it’s either going to control you, or you’re going to control it. So, accept it for what it is so that you can move past it.
2. Harvest the good. Even though your brother said you shouldn’t eat the second piece of cake because you’re going to get fat, and your mother said you care more about your job than the family, remember that there’s good in everything that happens to you.
So, after you accept what happened, take a step back and look for the good in it.
You know your brother only took a jab at you because he wanted the last piece of cake you were about to eat. You also aware that you should cut back on sugar, so your brother’s words were just a reminder of what’s best for your health.
And maybe you have been working such long hours that you haven’t been calling your parents every week like you used to. So, you set a reminder on your phone to call home every Sunday.
The point is, if you look for good, you will find it. And the more you look for it, the more you will find.
3. Forgive all the rest. Forgive means to let go of completely. Abandon anything that happened that doesn’t serve you. It’s nonsense, so just forget about it.
Download the worksheet below today and try this process for yourself over the next week. It’s simple, but it works.
Of course, this strategy works no matter what time of the year it is or what you’re going through. Whenever you are feeling tense, challenged or disconnected, let this be your mantra: “Harvest the good. Forgive all the rest.”
Be the light you want to experience
Our true fulfillment and enjoyment of this season come from looking within and reflecting on the deeper spiritual significance the holidays have for us.
So, use this time to enter the spirit of the holidays. And infuse your holiday activities with a sense of gratitude. It will make a tremendous difference to you and everyone you encounter.
When you fully enter the spirit of the holidays, you smile more; you spread more joy; you are kinder. You may find yourself complimenting a stranger, picking up a fallen object for a passerby or buying coffee for the person who’s behind you in line at Starbuck’s.
By focusing on this deeper significance of the holidays, you’ll see the simplest things often make the biggest difference in your and other people’s lives.
Happy holidays from our family to yours.
In peace, joy and gratitude,
Bob Proctor and Sandy Gallagher