Updated: Jul 15, 2020
The most wonderful time of the year is here. But for some with dysfunctional families, unresolved trauma, emotional triggers, it can feel like going into hell, even if YOU are a conscious, spiritual, zen person the other 364 days of the year. I put together some tips to help you prepare for potentially triggering situations and maintain your high vibe as much as possible!
5 Tips for the Body Mind Spirit to prepare for your dysfunctional family gathering:
Prepare for battle! Ok, not really. But you do need to be as present as possible during your family event. Although downing a bottle of wine to blot out your annoying/triggering situation seems ideal, you are putting off the HEALING that is waiting for you once you go through those feelings with a clear mind.
TIP: In the days coming up to the event, step up your self care. Eat clean, drink a ton of water, get yo' nails done or get a massage. Nurturing yourself in this way is healing, especially if you didn't get nurturing you needed from your caretakers.
Keeping your body clean will help with mental clarity. We need to wake up to ourselves. I'll explain with a personal example. When my husband I were dating and I took him to meet my parents, he gave me the feedback after that I "changed" around my parents. My posture diminished, I let people in my family say rude or passive aggressive things, and boundaries were crossed. He had never seen me like that anywhere else in my life. Your subconscious takes control when you're with family always if you haven't been practicing meditation, looking at these issues in therapy or with a coach.
TIP: Take at least 10 minutes and get out your journal. Get clear on who your parents/family REALLY are. Try to disconnect and look at them as a stranger, taking into account how/when/where they were raised, the trauma they experienced, and how all that shaped them. PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS DOING THE BEST THEY CAN WITH WHAT THEY KNOW. This can be difficult if you still feel hurt, as if they owe you an apology. This resentment only harms you, takes your energy, and lowers your vibe. Try for a moment to surround them with compassion as you would a sick, mentally or spiritually ill person (because to some extent, we all are works in progress), and hold them in a bubble of compassion from a distance.
TIP: Then write on how you would be if you were free from the hurt/anger/sadness/abandonment that this person triggers. Would you have more self esteem, more confidence, better relationships? Write down the person who exists under that pile of shame and imagine feeling those positive things.
SPIRIT: If you really want to start resolving your trauma, stop the pain cycle, and engage with your family from a healed and whole place, keep reading.
TIP: Taking the previous journaling activity to another level,and if it feels safe to you, start praying for those people who harmed you NOW. I pray for my ex husband every night and nothing is better for MY peace of mind, MY freedom, and keeping MY energy lit than doing a this spiritual act. If prayer ain't your thing, light a candle, say a healing affirmation, or whatever works for you. This all works on the spiritual law of as one person is healed, we are all healed.
TIP: If you do not have an ancestral altar, make one, even a tiny one ASAP. Ancestral trauma, pain and grief is also part of what's happening for us still on Earth School that are struggling with family dysfunction. There are ancestors who have not become well due to their unresolved life issues. You better believe they are all up in your space, causing trouble. Making a place like an altar for the well and unwell ancestors, with some offerings such as food, water, an artifact, herbs or even stones (outside of your bedroom) can give these spirits a "seat at the table" and get them out of your energy field. (For more on this check out Daniel Floor's work).
Cassandra Solano, LCSW
Yay for New Friends!
Hi there! I'd love to gift you a free handout on a huge key to having healthy relationships: Attachment Styles. Your attachment style is just as important as your enneagram or horoscope in helping you understand yourself!