Holiday stress is what too many people experience during a time that could be so much better. Hopefully, gathering for the holidays is a wonderful, warm, and blessed time for your family. But for too many others, it is nothing but "turkey and stressing", because of unresolved family issues or simply different preferences.
For too many families, you can't talk about problems, because of the fear of creating more stress. Instead of wanting to be together and enjoy the time, you fear getting together.
When families get together, all of the family history arrives with each person. And, for many families - maybe yours - that's bad, since holiday stress adds to the package. It's really difficult for those families when unresolved problems are the giant "elephant in the room".
One of the 4 common relationship mistakes is "keep the past in the present" and that agitates and irritates family members creating "ME" flashing moments. Family members "walk on eggshells", afraid they may say the wrong thing which might "make someone mad". All of that just increases the stress of being together.
"Turkey and stressing" anyone?
Be A Catalyst for Good
Leadership and relationships work BEST when people resolve issues rather than let them fester into painful sores.
Consider this, if issues aren't resolved from both sides, resolve it from your side. Move away from holiday stress even if the rest of the family doesn't.
How? Be a catalyst for change. A "catalyst" is...
an agent that speeds up change and does not get conformed or changed in the process.
Note the two parts of that definition 1) speeds up change, 2) not conformed or changed.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate catalyst. When He was in a situation, people either changed positively or became sad or mad at Him. But, in no case did the situation ever change Jesus.
Look at every conversation or interaction He had with people. His values did not change, even when that was His desire and was best for them. And, He NEVER made anyone change! He only shared the truth in love and gave them the opportunity to choose to change.
And, He did not pout or get mad when someone ignored what He said.
It Starts With You!
If you want to be a CATALYST for change, don't try to change anyone other than YOURSELF. Holiday stress stands on the foundation of "should, ought and must"! "They should be acting differently!" or "they shouldn't be acting that way!"
That thinking focuses your attention on their behavior rather than yours. Maybe they "should" be doing things differently, but REALITY is they aren't right now. How about living your good values anyway. How about going back to course 6 and reviewing the 2 Circles to live in the RIGHT Circle not the LEFT. When you focus on your behavior, you have the power to do something about it!
Decide that you will be a REAL person. You will not wear a mask nor try to use the truth as a hammer. Consider the following questions to PREPARE yourself to be a catalyst.
Two Questions to Consider
"How am I making this (issue, problem) about ME?" Unresolved issues almost always have one or all parties "flashing their ME". A catalyst's first step is decide to "pursue the best for others". Toss selfishness aside and be a catalyst.
"Do I need to forgive or confess?" If you forgive then let it go. A great way to do that is pray blessing and peace upon those who wronged you. Review the 7 steps in course 10 (Catalyze Change - Start With You) for more help.
When you forgive, their behavior no longer controls you. Yuu're free to pursue their best when you get together with them. No attitudes, snarky remarks, or bad thinking about them.
If confessing use the 4 A's approach. Click here to download some more details.
- Agree that what you did was wrong
- Acknowledge that it hurt them and others
- Admit regret and repentance
- Announce your plan to never do it again
When you decide to be a catalyst and share the truth, it may not make the situation better or make them happy. But, this is not about making you or others better or happy, it is about doing what is best for others. When you are doing that, you are a catalyst to relieve holiday stress.
Jesus did not make the rich young ruler happy, but He shared the truth to give him an opportunity to choose what was BEST.
Now that you have decided to be a catalyst, use the Moment of Truth tool to help you.