and letting go of expectations

The holiday season can trigger emotions in even the healthiest of us. Ram Dass once said, "If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family."

One of my favorite teachings come from the book, "It Didn't Start with You" by Mark Wolynn:

“For the first time I could remember, I was able to let myself receive my parents’ love and care—not in the way I had once expected it, but in the way they could give it. Something opened in me. It didn't matter how they could or couldn't love me. What mattered was how I could receive what they had to give. They were the same parents they'd always been. The difference was in me.”

As we prepare to engage with our loved ones, it's important to approach old patterns in a new way.

Here are a few reminders for us all:

Let go of expectations: Release any preconceived notions or expectations about how your family should behave or how interactions should unfold. Instead, approach the holiday season with an open mind and a willingness to accept your loved ones as they are. Embrace the idea that everyone has their own journey and struggles, and that true connection can be found in accepting each other's differences.

Practice empathy and compassion: Seek to understand the experiences and perspectives of your family members. Recognize that they, too, may be carrying their own wounds and unresolved issues. By approaching them with empathy and compassion, you create a safe space for open communication and connection.

Set healthy boundaries: Boundaries are essential for maintaining emotional well-being. Be clear about your own needs and limitations, and communicate them respectfully to your loved ones. Setting boundaries helps establish a sense of balance and respect within relationships, allowing for healthier interactions.

Focus on gratitude and appreciation: Instead of dwelling on past grievances or negative patterns, shift your attention towards gratitude and appreciation for the positive aspects of your family relationships. Embrace moments of joy, connection, and shared experiences.

Remember, change starts within ourselves. By approaching old patterns in a different way and engaging in internal work, we have the power to create more fulfilling and loving relationships with our loved ones.

So, my dear readers, I encourage you to reflect on your own relationships and the love that may be present in your lives. Consider how you can open yourself up to receive and appreciate the love that others offer, even if it may not meet your initial expectations. Remember, the difference lies within you, in the way you choose to perceive and receive love. Embrace that power, and watch as it transforms your relationships and your own sense of fulfillment and contentment.