Holiday Healing + Guided Meditation
I wanted to share a recent WIN for me! ‘Tis the season to be around more people and family than usual perhaps for most of us. I like to see that as an opportunity for growth. It was Ram Dass who said, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family”.
I had a chance to practice that! A conversation with a friend of the family turned political. The psychology nerd in me was interested in the person’s reasoning behind their political statements. My curiosity was met with personal attacks. I stood up for myself though, not with childish attacks or low blows, but with grace and good character.
My mother, who shares the same political views as this other person, witnessed the conversation and said, “That doesn’t sound like you Laura.”
BEST compliment ever!
Her comment meant I didn’t fit into her box of who “Laura” should be, according to her. And this was in contrast with how I felt, which was really in my authentic self!
Years ago I would’ve doubted myself. Little alarms would’ve sounded off in my head. Uh oh, I’m not myself. What’s wrong with me? Instead of panicked alarm bells though, I was met with calm confidence in my authentic self… and it felt good!
For most of my life my mom has tried to program me and shape me into who she needed me to be. Many of us not only live with past trauma, but also current issues with parents that reflect the same old B.S. from childhood. My mom did not relinquish control once I turned 18. Not in the slightest!
If I showed who I really was, God forbid that leaked out, my mom would use shaming and guilt tactics to bring me back under control. In this instance recently, not agreeing with her political views was somehow not who I am. Or was it not who she wanted me to be?
The other aspect that didn’t sound like “me” was that I wasn’t being pleasing or simply allowing mistreatment.
Pleasing and agreeing with her was one contract I made with my mom in early childhood, to avoid hostile and manipulative attacks on my character. Pleasing and agreeing with others was another contract with her, because if I was pleasing, agreeing, and self-sacrificing with others, it made her appear like a great mom. Afterall, she’d never miss an opportunity to tell others how well she raised me.
You guys, this is progress!
When the toxic people around us begin to take issue with WHO YOU ARE, it’s likely they never knew or accepted who you were in the first place, and only liked what you did for them or how you made them appear.
Personal attacks on our character and who we are, are not fun. But if toxic people don’t like who we are, then we’re doing something right. It means they can’t find use for us. It means their manipulative tactics won’t work on us. That’s great!
The caveat is some of these toxic people are the people we thought really cared about us and now we find out they don’t even accept us at the very core. That’s a much deeper insult than saying, “Hey, I don’t like your new haircut”, which can hurt our feelings, but ok, my hair isn’t who I am.
It’s progress but it hurts. In the book, Bittersweet, the author states, “Most of life is bittersweet, but it’s in the bittersweet that shows us who we are and what means the most to us.” Being who I am authentically, means more to me than pleasing my mom. It’s bittersweet work we do on ourselves.
A parent is supposed to know you best because healthy parents attune to their babies and children. If they don’t, this results in survival trauma. It means the child has to change who they are to survive! They also internalize the message that something is inherently wrong with them.
Many parents never attuned to their children so they will always be at odds with them any time a child (even adult child) shows a glimmer of who they really are. In essence, being our authentic self is threatening to them. If we don’t do the work on ourselves, we may feel threatened by being in our authentic self too.
- At the end of the day with family, take some time to yourself where you can have a conversation with your Inner Child.
- While meditating, go within and imagine talking to a problem individual- they can’t talk, only listen. You can even imagine that they finally understand or get what you’re saying.
- Notice who you are (or feel like you have to be) around certain family members.
- Journal with this prompt in mind: Who (or how) did you have to be to survive your family growing up?
- Identify relationship contracts you have with certain family members. Relationship contracts are subconscious agreements (and patterns) we make in relationship to another. It’s the way things have to be in order for the relationship to sustain itself. You’ll find when you deviate from the “contract” the relationship suffers. (If you need help with this, I do emotional healing sessions to identify, process, and resolve these contracts. Sometimes the contract goes all the way back to a past life!).
Other orders of business: Enjoy, try to have some fun! See the lighter side of things… then go home and cry 🙂 or listen to my NEW GUIDED MEDITATION: Guides of Past, Present, and Future (A little spin-off of the “Christmas Carol” and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future).
Peace and Be Well,