The holidays can be a treacherous time for those who are actively creating a life that matches who they are becoming.  These days are full of traditions and expectations, triggers and old behaviors, past acts and regrets, and people.  There are people we want to see because we love them, but we wince thinking about their behaviors and that we’re going to have to “deal” with them. There are those people who we love, but don’t like very much.  There are those we have to suffer through because we neither like them nor do we like or need their behaviors and choices.

Holidays can sometimes be like broken records.  We go through the same motions, do the same things, get the same results, and then wonder why we feel bad or regretful or frustrated or dragged backwards when it’s all over.  We can’t change others, their path and their choices are theirs.  What we can do is make choices about ourselves and what we do.  If we’re creating our lives to match who we are, the holidays should reflect that as well.  This includes validating our feelings.  If something makes us feel back or regretful, frustrated or dragged backwards then it demands that we look at why. In validating our feelings we may find them to be a blessing as they point a very direct arrow at things which we can change and improve.  From something as simple as not eating something we dislike to setting clear and healthy boundaries for ourselves.

It sounds simple, but the most radical change around the holidays is to recognize that our happiness and joy and enjoyment is just as important as those of our families.  To know that if we suffer, we’re doing it wrong.  If we sacrifice ourselves for others we are teaching them that we don’t matter, which is a lie.  So this holiday, step out of the groove for a moment and look at what works and what doesn’t.  Check out what you do just because that’s what you’ve always done and see if that needs updating, repair, or a complete replacement.  Check in with your body and your heart to see what you might really want.  You could be surprised.  Not all change needs to be radical, sometimes it can be simple and sharing your true self with those you love might just be the best holiday gift they will get this season.