The holidays are here and that usually means spending time with family. Some of these people we connect with easily and we are so happy to see them. Others are not quite so easily received. Whether it be old patterns, habits, unresolved issues, our thoughts and feelings are not in a place that supports our well-being and connection with self and others that we might want. Also, the unsettling times in which we live can tend to exacerbate worry, anxiety, resentments, anger and a myriad of other thoughts and feelings that are difficult to manage. Here are 4 pointers to help you get along with relatives during the holidays.
By Lynn Francis
There is a story of a man walking down the beach and he sees thousands of starfish on the shore. A woman is picking them up one at a time and putting them back in the water. The man says to her, “there are so many starfish here, how do you think you can make a difference?” She picks one up as she puts it in the water and says “I made a difference to this one.” And she picks up another and says “and this one too”. (adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley.) Some of us make a difference in smaller, deeper ways and others in big, broad ways and everything in between.
Probably most of us, if not all of us entered the field of education in some capacity because we wanted to make a difference– not because we needed any old job. We loved the students, the diversity, and for many, the travel. We flourished in gathering resources, methods, techniques, activities at workshops and conferences, and shared and collaborated with others. We returned for graduate studies and/or presented our own workshops, created curriculum in a never ending force of creativity, joy and hard work. We developed friends and were guided by mentors. And then…after a period of time…
Lynn Francis is a Therapist and Life Coach with a private practice in San Diego.