Sometimes holidays hurt. The holiday cards and promotions are full of pictures of beautiful families smiling around a fireplace or dinner table. For some families, the reality doesn’t match that picture. Family relationships come with history, “the good, the bad, and the ugly,” anything from an unintentional slight, to childhood trauma. Hurts are the emotional leftovers of life, and when mixed with alcohol, they can turn into not-so-happy holidays.
Holiday celebrations and family gatherings are a good thing. For many, they are the most important part of the year. Everyone wants “Peace on Earth,” not just for the world, but at home and in our hearts. If there are emotional leftovers and hurtful words that have affected your family relationships, it is healthy to try to sort it out, and when possible, to make amends.
Everyone wants “Peace on Earth,” not just for the world, but at home and in our hearts.
Own what is yours. We all make mistakes. Sometimes, we just hurt people. It might be out of anger, or, we innocently step on a minefield with our words and actions, unaware of how someone else will interpret them.
Apologize. Learning to apologize and take responsibility for our actions takes work and courage. There are many sites online to help you learn this, using the search word “apology”. The payoff can mean deeper more loving relationships.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you had a heart-wrenching misunderstanding with someone you care deeply about. You may not have known how to apologize — unsure of what you had done. In this case, you might to call them saying, “I really value our relationship and I want to fix it, but I don’t know how”. They may hang up on you or they may allow a conversation to begin. Just knowing you tried will bring you peace.
Sometimes it takes more than an apology.
Some hurts run deep and can affect other relationships. That is when reaching out to a counselor for help can really make a difference in your life. It takes courage. Feeling better is worth it. The holidays come around every year — another chance to make them happy.