Xmas Relationship Meltdown Recipe: The credit cards are maxed out, mother is fussing about burning the roast, father isn’t getting along with your partner, the kids have gone crazy from all the excitement and sugary treats, you’re uptight and your relationship is strained to say the least.
That’s one common Xmas scenario. It’s a time of year when expectations and emotions run high and relationships often flounder. Everyone is busy and the pressure is on to get along with relatives you rarely see and family members you find difficult to deal with. Problems with in-laws in particular, can bring your relationship with your partner to breaking point.
So what to do? How about an easy process to run yourself through that will lead you out of conflict and into joy. Here are four simple yet powerful steps that you can take to give yourself and everyone around you a Merry Xmas:
1. It’s All You – Find Out What’s Going On For You
When conflict arises (whether internal or external), find five minutes to take yourself to a quiet place (a bedroom, the toilet if you’re out, etc) and ask yourself these questions:
a) What are you thinking about the situation/person? What are the thoughts you are having? (imagine observing your thoughts)
b) What feelings do you have about the situation/person? What emotions are you experiencing? (imagine observing your emotions)
c) How are you defining yourself in this situation? What are you? Be honest in your response.
c) What action(s) are these thoughts and feelings telling you to take? (ie. if you believe that the thoughts and emotions are informing you of the truth of the situation, what do you want to do about it?)
2. Them – How Are You Defining the Other?
Ask yourself: how am I defining the other person(s)? What are they?
You may want to edit your response to this question, but let it out uncensored! If you want to say that Great Aunty Ethel is a whining old cow with no manners, then say it. Censoring your responses will hold you in the conflict. Be totally open with yourself, you are the only one who will know how you’ve responded to the question.
The more honest you can be with yourself, the easier it will be to step out of the conflict situation and into a Merry Xmas.
3. Acknowledge the Truth
Here’s the tough bit – none of your responses to questions 1 and 2 relate to truth or reality. They are completely made-up, in your consciousness as a response to your underlying beliefs and wounding (more on this here). If you want to have a good time this Xmas, you need to accept this.
Your thoughts and emotions in this situation are driving you to act in certain ways that will generally lead to more trouble and less fun.
Your definitions of others (including your partner, no matter how well you think you know him/her) are restricting your ability and willingness to enjoy your life and the people around you.
Imagine packaging up your thoughts, feelings, definitions of yourself, definitions of others and actions you want to take in a box. Picture yourself free of those thoughts, feelings and definitions.
Rest here in this place of innocence.
4. What Would You Love?
From this place of innocence in yourself, ask your heart, your higher self, your soul, the greater you (whichever phrasing your prefer): What would I love to experience this Xmas?
Write down your answer if you can. Is it warmth, family, connection, great food, fun, surfing? Whatever your response is, just accept it, even if it seems unrelated to Xmas or the conflict you were in.
Now take obvious action on what you would love – what can you do that will bring you closer to what you would love?
It’s that easy! The process above will powerfully lift you out of the conflict and shift your focus to what you would love. When you take action on what you would love, you will create a completely different reality for yourself, one that will surprise and delight you.
If the same conflict comes up again, do the process again – it’s quick, it’s easy and it’s liberating.
If you want to permanently liberate yourself from relationship conflict and enjoy a relationship that makes your heart sing all year round, get yourself a copy of my book The Relationship Revelation.