HANDLING THE HOLIDAYS WITH CARE and COMPASSION
In our ultra independent culture, we are straying way too far from each other. This is especially felt during the holiday season when family interactions are brought out to be dealt with. I see two dichotomies often happen: either people become too enmeshed or too disconnected from each other. In my recent mini Kindle e-book, Remedy For Social Disconnect, I was inspired to write about this because this feeling seem prevalent everywhere I look both personally and professionally. And it can be heartbreaking.
I think one thing we need to be careful of is a thing called spiritual bypass. This is where spiritual concepts and attitudes are used to avoid being real in relationships. An example is the idea that we need to be our own self support and rely solely on ourselves emotionally rather than on others. I think this dichotomy can put a lot of pressure on the individual who is in a very real world with other people who still have a very real and symbolic impact on them. And to undermine this or sweep this under the rug can be hurtful.
I feel that everything has its place. And as difficult as this may be for many people, I believe it can be very healing for people to really be there for other people. Sometimes this means not over complicating relationships by trying to force or change roles when it is not natural. For example trying to be someone’s therapist or mentor, when you are their mother or father, and what they really need at the moment is a mother or father. Or maybe someone needs you to be the spouse or the friend that you are to them, rather than try to parent them or fix it for them. Sometimes all people need is your presence in that role. Sometimes all people need is a hug or a few words that “it’s going to be okay,” and “I believe in you.” Sometimes this reflection alone is enough. And this can be much gentler and more healing than reminding someone they are alone in their pain.
Yes, we are all ultimately responsible for own inner experience. And self-support is great and all… we all want to be centered and grounded in ourselves. But sometimes we also need a fresh reflection from loved ones because we’ve focused too much on ourselves. Don’t let this over focus rob you of the opportunity to exchange love and support with another. This is why we are all here for each other rather than each of us living on our own island never seeing another human being. We need relationships to unfold and discover our beautiful selves.
So it can help to be mindful of this, especially during the sensitive winter holiday time, when the days are already so dark. It’s okay to need each other, and to receive and give that special support, while we are still here in the flesh together. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and close with those you love, and to give lots of words of affection and caring toward others. Don’t be afraid of these feelings within yourself, as they are not weakness but true strength! And a true gift to others. (Layla’s Bubble Of Compassion CD can be accessed on the “store” link, iTunes, CDBaby and other distributors.)