SHINE: Heal By The Spirit — Healing Relationships During the Holidays

SHINE … By the Spirit™ with Tonya M. Evans

Healing Relationships During the Holidays

© 2011 Tonya M. Evans

November 25, 2011

Now that the end-of-the-year holiday season is officially in full swing, many of us are re-connecting with family. We often have an idealized sense of family at holiday time because so much nostalgia and so many memories and expectations are connected to what “home for the holidays” means for each of us.

Some of us look forward to the holidays. We love the gatherings, the meals, the deals, the decorations, and the religious and personal aspects of the holidays.  We get a little time off and perhaps we return to our hometowns. We look forward to seeing family and friends whom we may not have seen all year long.

The problem is “home for the holidays” doesn’t mean the same thing or feel the same way to everyone. Oftentimes unexpressed  expectations and unmet needs can lead to  disappointment, disputes and the re-emergence of chronic family hostilities when our family members fall short of the expectations we’ve set in our own minds. Or, of course, when they actually (and unfortunately) do meet them! [READ: “He always … or she never … or they will never change!]

Because the holidays aren’t a warm, fuzzy memory for everyone, sometimes the onset of the holidays brings with it bad memories of childhood, fractured familial ties, the reality that treasured family members have passed on or the sadness of not having that special someone with whom to share all the events, occasions and moments during the holidays.

Whether you are still in “holiday heaven” or have somehow found yourself in “OMG, when will they leave [or it’s definitely time for ME to  leave] holiday hell” you always have an opportunity to see situations and people differently; in the light and with the eyes that God sees all of us. Remember, only love is real. And nothing else matters (even if you have to love from a distance and especially when self-love is what is really needed in any given moment).

You can choose to lovingly release your expectations, to forgive, and to give grace to those who disappoint you. You can choose to be grateful for life, for breath and second chances even in the midst of tough times. God uses conscious people to represent Him and sometimes that person is you! So whether your love is reciprocated or rejected, or even if family members with whom you’ve had poor relations have passed or you are still grieving a lost relationship, healing is still possible. You can offer a silent prayer of forgiveness and restoration to heal the past in this moment.

By letting go of the past we create a new future and a healed relationship, within and with others. Healing and forgiveness is more about you than the other person anyway. Your transition from perceived brokenness to wholeness through the power of forgiveness serves as a powerful example of God’s love here on earth. By releasing anger, hurt and negativity you create spiritual space for love to grow and potential to be realized. So choose to heal family ties today!

Resources for Healing Familial Relationships:

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