Day #22, Family Ties

authenticity_day22Happy Friday, you beautiful people. As you get now, we start a new focus every Friday. Today begins our chapter of Authenticity.

Many of you have shared with me your concerns about seeing extended family around the holidays. “It feels like they don’t even know me, and I don’t know them. They look at me like I’m crazy.” I’m used to this by now. It seems like every year since I left for college, I would go home and receive reactions of surprise at each new level of self-discovery. I went from a very preppy teenager to a much more spiritual and whimsical adult. Some of my family accepted this, while others criticized me for being weird or “witchy.” Especially given the divide our country has seen this Fall, these gatherings may be even more difficult than usual for some.

Self-discovery and emotional growth is important, though, and the holidays don’t have to feel like an expose of who you are. It can be a time to come together and get to know each other again.

Prompt: How can you show up to be your most authentic self without offending or hurting others? If there’s someone in particular you’re worried about talking to or seeing, contemplate what it is about them that doesn’t work for you or what parts of you seem to bother them. See if you can find some clarity here.

One Reply to “Day #22, Family Ties”

  1. Emily, you’re spot on. It can be hard for others to embrace our growth and our authentic selves around the holiday, especially relatives we only see once or twice a year. I believe this might be due to the sense of nostalgia that exists during the holiday. One of the many comforts of Christmas is the expectation of tradition and stability. We hope for things to remain the same- the smell of the Christmas tree, the secret cookie recipe, Gram’s Christmas village set up on the piano. So when we notice change, we don’t always celebrate it, seeing it instead as a threat to our beloved Christmas bubble.

    One of the ways that I show my own growth is through the celebration of others’ progress. By “modeling” that I am accepting and happy for my family’s growth, change, and accomplishments, I hope that I create an atmosphere where one of my family members can feel a little more confident about their new hairdo, hobby, or whatever it is that they have given importance to this year. It is not always easy, and sometimes it is hard to see a family member’s growth when one feels like they haven’t accomplished as much. I believe that one of the biggest barriers to celebrating someone else’s growth and authenticity is self doubt. Therefore, by practicing self confidence, we can be accepting of everyone else’s successes too.

    I like to keep a warm and open spirit by singing Christmas carols and running when I feel the Christmas stress creeping up, so that I can celebrate my own and others’ growth.


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