Occasion to spend time with family “happened” to me recently. So many issues, so little time. The American holidays are approaching and in the coming months, many may face feeling some of what I felt. And may, as I did, think hard about what they are feeling and choose not to react.
Family is an organism that you are bound to and a part of. You are born into memories and legacies and the established lives of those who came before you. Yes you are separate and yet, like it or not, you are included too.
No, you can’t genetically alter yourself to be related to someone else. But you can make choices about who you believe you are. Legacy or not, in the end, your self-definition and behavioral choices are yours alone.
People, especially unhappy ones, will inevitably try to spread their own lives’ stinky Limburger cheese onto your sandwich. Accusing you of responsibility for stuff you have no clue about; the fears and insecurities they tire of carrying. And, in a split second, you must decide whether to open your happy hoagie and accept their stinky cheese or say, no thanks; I’m dairy-free today.
Our boundaries are our most precious assets at this time of the year. Confronted by others’ idiotic remarks, as a mature adult, ideally we could say,” I don’t necessarily agree with you but thanks for giving me your opinion.” Not always being that mature or clever, I suggest you give your self any kind of exit plan. Whether it’s a white lie to your grandparents that you’re driving back home when you’ve booked a room at a local spa. Or faking a coughing fit to exit the room quickly before you break into tears, taking care of your well-being is your priority and responsibility. Taking care of them is theirs.