Tips for the Holidays – Family and Presence

Thanksgiving family

Credit: Pixel

“If you have been doing inner work for some time, a visit with your family is an excellent opportunity to discover how well you have done. You will easily identify the areas where you have made significant progress. You will also see where your weaknesses still lie…

The relationship with your parents is not only the primordial relationship hat sets the tone for all subsequent relationships, it is also a good test for your degree of Presence. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.

Many who are on a path of awakening choose to avoid contact with their parents or family members. This can be helpful, if the intentions are truly good and not a pattern of avoidance.

As you spend time with your family, don’t expect that you will be the perfect embodiment of all you have learned and integrated. You will be put to the test day after day, moment by moment. This is normal. You will gain the most from this experience if you don’t take it too seriously, if you don’t create impossible standards for your conduct of behavior, if you try so hard to be Present and Still that you behave like a robot, if you withdraw into a cocoon of self-protection, or if you blame your family members for every little imperfect act from the past that harmed you in some way.

Instead, and above all, choose to relax, reduce your expectations for what may or may not happen, expect little skirmishes, disagreements, moments of humility or failure, and the distance you may feel with your family as a whole, knowing that you are trying to move beyond the ego patterns that have been impediments to your soul and that they care less about ego and Presence and even Truth.

Love and accept them where they’re at. Have compassion for their pain. Be observant while being engaged as guilelessly as possible. Watch yourself and your reactions, out of curiosity, not judgment or blame, but for the benefit of learning how and where you’re really at in your spiritual evolution.”

~ Eckhart Tolle


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41 thoughts on “Tips for the Holidays – Family and Presence

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Val…may your Blessings be abundant.
    I love this flow…peaceful..accepting and being ever so grateful. I am one that is estranged from family, but each holiday, my husband and I volunteer to serve in our community where needed. We serve this year to elderly that have no family and are home alone..and this gives us FAMILY to share our hearts with. We are so grateful. β™₯β™₯β™₯

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Expecting our family members or friends to be something they are not, is “insanity” says Eckhart! All the issues with my family have changed, because I changed my attitude and acceptance of them. Great holiday reminder Val πŸ‘πŸŒΏπŸ€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Karen. As adults it’s up to us to take responsibility for how we want our relationships to be, especially family ones. That requires us to do a lot of growing up sometimes πŸ˜‰ Keep sane my wise friend πŸ™

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So very true, Val. This is the time of year that everything gets tested. I found out that I have learned to set boundaries and stick to them. As a result, our Thanksgiving feast will be my two adult children and I sharing pizza and holiday movies. Peaceful indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wise words! I think that most of the stress from family gatherings comes from our expectations of how we think others should behave and how our gatherings should be. Once we let go of that, and just relax and accept people for who they really are, it’s so much easier.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Val. A very thought provoking article. I had and have a difficult childhood with my parents and I trying to deal with resentments in a healthy way that helps to create a healthy relationship with my wife and children. ‘expectation in a envelope only delivers resentment’. Thank you once again.

    Liked by 1 person

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