The holidays are approaching …….families and friends are gathering, gifts being given, food shared, and general “good tidings and cheer”. This is what the holidays are about right? Getting together with people you love (and love you too), and celebrating your holidays together.
For some people, it is the exact opposite. The holidays do not bring “good tidings and cheer”, but serve as reminders of past hurts, problems, and difficult relationships. For some people, the holidays are times of the year in which their resolve is tested, their choices are questioned, and their fears may be realized. Not everyone is happy about the holidays, and not everyone is looking forward to them. For many people, the holidays are times of difficulty, times of distress, and times of depression.
This time of year is generally seen as a time in which families gather, and relationship bonds are solidified/strengthened, and a time to relax. But what if your family, or relationship is the cause of your depression?
What if your family or relationship triggers intense hate, disgust, or fear around this time of year? What if your family or relationship is the last thing you want to be around during the holidays?
If I am speaking your truth, read on!!!
If you find yourself dreading the holidays, or avoiding that phone call/email/message that is asking you what your plans are, I want you to stop and think for a minute………how much work are you putting into avoiding or cutting off this relationship? How much of your emotional strength are you keeping in reserve to “hate”, or “avoid”, or be absent from that person? How much energy are you putting forward to keeping that wall up, that guard up, that “numbness” just so that this relationship doesn’t hurt you anymore??
Before you stop reading, hear me out!!!
I am not suggesting nor implying that you “forgive and forget” — because I know that this phrase is a monumental task, and I pray you eventually get there. But what I am suggesting is that you protect yourself from this relationship in a different way. I’m asking you to “hate differently”.
What does that mean??
How does someone “hate” a relationship in a different way??
So let’s say you have a relationship, that was really, really hurtful. And there is a possibility that this relationship may show up during the holidays. And you are being asked to be in the same place as this potential relationship, because it’s “ insert holiday”. Now you are trying to come up with an excuse, or avoiding answering the request, or even being non-committal about whether you are coming or not.
Maybe you have said “I don’t think so”, and are being questioned as to why.
Maybe you have to be there, and you are already anticipating what could happen if this relationship showed up.
Are you getting exhausted or anxious just thinking about this??
What if you found a way to assert yourself, and still found a way to enjoy the holidays? What if you thought about options, instead of consequences? What if you just said “no”?
To “hate” a relationship differently is to put less energy, less emotional work, and less personal strength towards that relationship. Your ex might be there because of the children you share?? Find a way to engage in a way that doesn’t stress you out!! Your parents are “too much” to deal with? Look at ways you can engage passively!!! That person who hurt you is going to be at the party?? Make a decision to go or not, and stop obsessing over what may happen!!!!
Bottom line here, to “hate” differently is about putting less effort on those things that you have decided were not good for you. These relationships already took a large part of yourself, already exhausted your emotional strength, already made you fight to be here. So why put more of yourself towards avoiding them?? Let it go, and let it be different. You can find ways to enjoy what you love about the holidays — and learn to “hate” differently!!!