A Message from Dr. Henry Cloud Ahead of the Holiday SeasonNov 12, 2019
Ok, let's be honest with ourselves. Holidays can be the best and the worst of times. Often there is a mixture of both. We get time with the people who give us the most meaning, fun and fulfillment, and we often “get to" spend time with some that can do the opposite. They can be difficult, or even painful to be around. Yet, for bigger reasons than our own wishes, we need to. Also, there can be activities that bring great fulfillment and some that don't. Again, we often find ourselves squeezed between competing wishes and priorities, ours and others.
Holidays are meant to be a time of meaning. Spiritual, relational, traditional, and other kinds of deep meaning are symbolized by this time. Your heart, soul and spirit long for meaning at this time of year and will be asking you to make sure that they get it. With each decision of how you are going to spend valuable time and energy, use the “meaning meter.” Ask yourself, "Is that really the way I want to spend holiday time? It is valuable? Will that add or destroy meaning? When we use that meter, we tend to make better choices.
My prayer for you at this time of year is to find meaning with the people and activities that bring that to you, even if they are sacrificial or at times require effort or some pain. They matter. At the same time, suffering needless pain or abuse is never helpful. Align your values and desires with your decisions of how you spend your time and energy this year. You will look back and be glad you did.
I'd like to help those of you who struggle this time of year. That's why I'm offering a free course on how to set boundaries for the holiday season. I'll be talking to you about how to stand up to toxic behaviors, unsafe people, anxiety, panic attacks, grief and so much more.
I'd like to invite you to get started right here.
Also, you may find one of my Boundaries Peer Groups helpful to you if you need to connect with others.
Boundaries in Marriage
Boundaries with Codependency
Boundaries in Dating
Boundaries with Parents
Boundaries with Adult Children
Boundaries After Divorce
Boundaries with Narcissists
Boundaries with Kids and Teens
Boundaries in Church