Family dynamics are daunting at times. The Holidays are happening soon where you may be confronted with those who don’t like you. Yes, family may love you, but they don’t always like what you’ve become or agree with what you believe. How do you respond when you’re face to face with a family member who wants nothing to do with you? Here’s four C words to help you contain conflict and bring calm and caring:
- Call- Like call ahead seating, call ahead to mend a relationship. Ask for forgiveness, even when there is a mutual need for this or if you have done nothing wrong. Tell them you love them. True love is unconditional, God loves us, not because we deserve it, but because He is a merciful, gracious God who gives undeserved favor. Why should we do anything less?
Don’t show up for Thanksgiving or Christmas armed and fuming. If you do this you all may be surprised by an explosive outburst. Stop the simmering before it turns to shouting. Celebrations are time for calm connections, not for the walking wounded to erupt.
2) Counseling– I know of a seven year old girl who said I have a crazy family, it makes me sad I can’t even see my cousin. She said they need therapy. I said “what do you know about therapy?” She said Wednesday in the Adams family went to therapy. Not sure how it went for Wednesday, but counseling can give ideas on how to respond and repair relationships. Young ones don’t need to experience trauma from arguments. Think about the negative effect on all involved and make it as positive as possible.
3) Coffee– As the coffee or tea is poured, pour out your heart to a trusted friend or family member. As you get in a comfortable zone, allow your uncomfortable concerns and feelings to spill out and hidden answers will be revealed. This may give concern and the desire to pray blessing on all involved, a sign of true healing.
4) Create– Create a no condemnation zone in your life. Don’t heap shame or guilt on you for what you said or did. Forgive others and yourself. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, for He has set you free (see Romans 8:1). If God has done this, how can you not forgive yourself?
You can change the landscape of your brain and life by your choices.This will change your life from walking in muddy minefields where dangers lurk, to a field of darling daisies where life and peace abound. Plant seeds of positive nurturing in your life and those around you. Even though it takes time, the thing you plant is what will grow! Happy harvest and Happy Holidays!