"It's that time of year again. I'm dreading the holidays!" my client said, her head drooping in defeat.
I asked her to tell me about what she dreaded most.
"It's the same every year. My husband and our three teenage kids go to my in-laws house for the holiday meal. We all sit around the table while my father-in-law dominates the conversation. He tells the same old stories we've heard over and over and when anyone tries to interject something or re-direct the conversation, they're immediately shut-down. Our kids hate going over there and I don't blame them!"
Sound familiar? You may not identify with that specific scenario, but I wonder if there's something about your family gathering that you are dreading. What comes to your mind?
Maybe it's the fact that alcohol is a big part of your family gatherings and it seems as though the more alcohol that is consumed, the more the emotional level among family members intensifies.
Or maybe you feel obligated to be at family gatherings because you're the only follower of Jesus and you want to be a good witness and example. You dread the gathering because it seems like either you're excluded from conversations and ignored or, worse yet, a family member purposely baits you into a controversial topic of conversation around politics, religion, the veracity of the Bible, or abortion. You're just plain tired of it.
Maybe like me, you come from a Christian family that looks good on the outside, but if truth were told, there's some issues from the past that have never been dealt with honestly or that have been glossed over in the name of "forgiveness." You feel exhausted--"pretending" takes a toll on us both emotionally and physically.
So, what do you do? As I told my client years ago:
Break the Rules!
You may be asking the same thing as my client did:
- What does that mean? and
- What does it look like?
In my next few posts we're going to examine how you can "B-E-A-T" the holiday blues with a few simple but life-changing tools.
We will start next time with what it means to:
Break the Rules!