It is difficult to heal physically when your emotions are constantly on edge.
In most cases, if there are family members triggering your emotions, you are are very likely triggering theirs as well. Their own woundedness is rising to the surface, and together you become caught in old family patterns and dramas, while deep inner needs don’t get met.
So what can you do?
You can certainly choose not to be with family over the holidays, which is something I chose to do for a few years, many years ago. Of course, you can use that time to actually address the aching needs behind your emotional wounds and discover how to meet them yourself. Or you can withdraw completely by simply slipping away and choosing not to connect again.
Another option is to argue with the family member(s) that trigger you, and be upset with them. Or you can discover what it takes to accept them as they are—wounds and all.
Whatever you decide to do in regard to your family, your own feelings deserve to be addressed, and in fact must, in order for you or your family to find healing.
One way you can do this is to hold your feelings. Take a few moments after you have been triggered by a family member to hold your own feelings in compassion. I recommend forgetting about the other person and what they did or did not do. Take a break and focus on you.
Perhaps you’ll find it helpful to take a walk, go up to your room, asking not to be disturbed, or take a quiet drive to a nice area where you can find comfort from Mother Earth.
Breathe long and deep, walk briskly or sit down to meditate—allow your focus to center on you, rather than the other person and feel. Feel the hurt or the anger, but feel it in the love of your compassion.
In this way, you do no harm to anyone else yet honor the feelings that compel you to withdraw or fight. And best of all, the act of your compassion has a way of beginning to fill the core need that never got met and creating the wound inside you.
…all that from holding yourself in compassion.
When you are at peace it will be time to return to your family. When you feel full and at peace within you, you will now be in a place to do the same for your family. When you see their woundedness, pause. Before you withdraw or fight with them, consider listening and holding them in compassion.
Watch how the family dynamics shift
If you can, at least, hold your own feelings, patterns will begin to change with your family. Compassion is the great healer, and there may be no better time than during holidays with the family to discover its power in healing emotional pain.