The Greatest Gift of All

What does Christmas mean to you?  For some it is a time of joy, giving, happy families and plenty of love.  For others it can be a difficult time.  In the spirit of Christmas, allow yourself time to take a breath and be present with what it's really all about.  Above all, be gentle with yourself and those around you.

For some people, Christmas is a poignant reminder of family rifts and relationships that have been damaged in the past and have not been healed. These issues are usually perceived differently by each person and with a little humility, caring and understanding, can be resolved. Rather than creating generational problems, it is worth putting a bit of effort into fixing them.

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet, if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we knew how to take care of them, they would grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand and care, you can love, and the situation will change.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

Remember that the greatest gift that you can give someone, at Christmas or at any time, is empathy and understanding.

Sometimes it is difficult to forgive past hurts, whether they were deliberate or unintentional. Perhaps forgiveness is over-rated and some things just can’t be forgiven, however finding some level of understanding can help to find peace within and bring resolution. The past is a complex web with many layers and it can be useful to consider everything from other perspectives.   The past cannot be changed and accepting that “it is as it is”, without blame, and changing the focus to moving forward, is important. Many rifts can be resolved with a mutual willingness to rise above the emotion, see the big picture and seek to understand.

Issues that haven’t been resolved in the past could be because of an unwillingness or inability to see the other person’s point of view, or one person has been determined to hold on to old grievances to make the other person pay for their sins.

However, sometimes it goes deeper than that, beyond what someone can deal with on their own, and the wounds are deep.

A traumatic event of the past may not have been processed properly, causing post-traumatic stress which could continue for many years. In this case it is worth knowing that if the person is willing to seek professional assistance, NLP can help the mind to process and deal with the event, neutralize the emotions and allow the person to think about them in a detached manner. If you would like to have this NLP procedure to use, please let us know. Kinesiology can remove residual subconscious stress and muscle memory, allowing the energetic body to be at peace.

When thinking about the past, it is worth remembering that we can only do the best that we can with what we have at the time. And often, a decision is only as good as the circumstances under which it was made. People change, circumstances change and life-learning continues so that in hindsight, with more knowledge and wisdom, people often wish they had made different decisions or choices.

Step back and see the big picture. Instead of dwelling on the past and things that can’t be changed, focus on the good, the relationship and the future. Don’t waste the time that you have left or go through the rest of your life with a family rift. Leave that to lesser people who do not have the ability or intellectual capacity to rise above it. Someone loves you more than you could ever know and cares about you. Start again and do whatever it takes to fix it.

It is sad but true that sometimes no matter how good your intentions are, or how hard you have tried to heal a relationship, the other person is not ready, willing or able to work with you or meet you halfway. They may continue to hold onto whatever it is that has caused the problem, or need to seek professional help. In this case there is nothing that you can do except to accept it, put on your own oxygen mask and protect your peace of mind. Read below for a few handy hints on how to be bullet-proof.

What is it about Christmas?

There are many other reasons why Christmas is a difficult time for many people. We know that it is the love, sharing and Christmas spirit which brings joy, however it is important to be mentally prepared for any Christmas struggle, take an extra dose of understanding and never hesitate to ask for, or offer, help.

  • Christmas can create a huge financial pressure and leave some people feeling inadequate if they are not able to afford what they feel are appropriate gifts, decorations or special food for Christmas.
  • For those without family, or even a home, it can be the loneliest time of the year.
  • For those who do not have their loved ones close by them, for whatever reason, it can be a time of heart-wrenching sadness.
  • For those with separated families, Christmas can be a sad reminder of the division that has been created.
  • In some families it can be a time of aggravation when people are forced together with seldom-seen relatives and the social interactions and awkward questions can be overwhelming.
  • For those hosting Christmas, there is so much to do and the pressure of wanting everything to be just right detracts from the joy.
  • Often expectations are not communicated between family members and any ensuing misunderstandings can cause disappointment or tension.
  • Many of the sugar and chemical-laden foods we eat at Christmas can cause a chemical reaction in our brains and bodies, negatively affecting our mood and those around us, often causing a chain reaction.  Combined with alcohol and\or recreational drugs, this can be a deadly mix.

How to bullet-proof yourself

It is said that the person who survives isn't the strongest, but the most flexible. 

Bend like bamboo ...

  • If someone is pushing your buttons, look beyond the personality and talk to the soul.  Remember that the personality is just the result of life experiences and you do not know what it is like for them.
  • Yes, it's about you and your well-being, however seek first to understand, then to be understood.  Rather than respond in haste, ask a question.
  • Ask someone for help if you feel there is too much to do.  It may make them feel more included.
  • Be aware of what you are eating and be prepared for any mood swings that may come.  Realise that your change of mood could be caused by what you are eating or drinking, rather than someone else.
  • Drink plenty of water to balance the effects of food and drink.
  • Surround yourself with happy people.  If the people you are with are bringing you down, then choose who you want to be with. Remember that it's not about them, it's about your well-being and you don't have to make excuses. 
  • Remember that being joyful doesn't mean having to be happy in every circumstance.  Just find that place of peace inside.

Remember that the occasion doesn't have to be perfect ... and neither do you.