Monday, November 18, 2013

Who's Problem Is It?

Thanksgiving is less than a week and a half away; Christmas, just slightly over a month.  It's the time for spending oodles of time with family.  In our dreams there is a cozy fire burning, the house smells of turkey and spice and everyone is being treated with kindness and love.  The fire and the turkey, doable.  Families who do not end up in some sort of scuffle before desert, rare as the East African Bongo.

I've thought of a coping strategy to use this year, that I'd like to share.  We'll find out together how well it works.

There are members of my family that don't like my hair.  I like my hair.  So when they make an evil comment about the light socket and my finger, I'm going to say to myself, their problem not mine, and continue stuffing the turkey.

I am overweight, but have been working very hard since June and have seen some positive results.  However, barring famine, I won't be my ideal weight by Christmas.  So if when the pumpkin pie is passed and Aunt Sara says, "Oh she doesn't need any of that," to an entire room of people, I will say in my head, bully, and then take a slice of the pie.

We internalize so many mean things that are said to us, or feel like we need to defend ourselves.  "My hair is naturally curly." "I've been exercising and eating really healthy."  Or, we hone in on their faults.  "Oh, I guess it's okay that you ran over Sam's cat who didn't die, but you left the scene anyway."  This gets nowhere quickly.  The cat is no more of your business than your hair and weight are theirs'.

I never recommend internalizing feelings or not feeling your feelings.  Heart attack city.  I do recommend not taking on other folks problems or bullying even if you love them.  If they tell you that you have a character trait that you're not, greedy for example, simply write it off to being their problem.  If you've been struggling with greed, you've confided in them, and they're using it against you, bully.

Enjoy the season.  And Praise God that it only comes once a year!

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