Hi and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to see you decided to stop by and visit with me. You are always welcome at my table. Over the last week, I received several comments from a visitor that spawned an interest to revisit previous posts from Second Chance to Live. The goal is to identify hot spots and provide practical solutions to living life on life’s terms. I believe the topics spoken about in this 2 part series can be especially helpful during this time of the year. The holiday season – Thanksgiving until after New Years – invariably creates a unique set of stress. In addition to the hustle and bustle that comes with the season, so comes anticipated and expected family re-unions. The combination of stress and the mingling of family members can produce anxiety and apprehension.
When families re-engage during the holiday season, so do the family dynamics. The family dynamic intensifies as the once familiar family system re-emerges. Previously assigned or assumed roles within the family system re-emerge and become the manner in which family members relate to on another. Found with in these roles often lies a history of unresolved family conflict. Please read, What is keeping you stuck? Family interactions subsequently become laced with arguments, as the roles trigger past resentments fueled by unmet expectations. Consequently, the anticipation and expectation that “this” year will be different may be met with a “familiar” unrest. Walking on “eggshells” to avoid conflict becomes the standard operating procedure as family members interact. Nevertheless, unresolved hurt, pain and resentment slowly boil to the surface and the once anticipated happy re-union becomes a gauntlet of restlessness, irritability and discontent. Angry words are shared and the mountain called “Resentment” grows still higher. When all is done and said the family members disengage and another holiday season finds itself cast upon the heap of denial, disillusionment and disappointment.
Another reason for the visitation is fundamental. I will use a metaphor to explain my understanding. A tree bears fruit because of its root, its trunk and its branches. The root draws from the substance that the tree thrives upon in order to bear fruit. By nature, the tree wants to grow and thrive to bear much fruit. Vines have their own agendas. Some vines grow on the trunks of the tree with immense density. These vines are composed of 80% water. The presence of this particular type of vine causes the trunk of the tree to rot. Unbeknown-st to any observer, the vine’s growth and presence undermines the stability of the tree. Other vines choke the tree by slowly circling the trunk of the tree. Another vine’s mission is to grow toward the canopy. In the process of seeking to reach the canopy, the vine weighs down the tree. Subsequently, the sheer weight of the vine can cause the trees branches to break. Broken branches leave the tree susceptible to pathogens and insects.
Unlike a tree, which can not move to avoid the vine, we as humans can make choices. Our choice will radically impact the effectiveness of any vine. For many years I was oblivious to the impact vines had upon my life. When I reached an emotional bottom several years ago, I woke up to the reality of the vines. In my process, I became aware of how different vines had attached themselves to the trunk of my being. Although I had been in my own denial for many years, my eyes began to open and I became aware of how the vines had harmed some of my branches. As my eyes began to open I found myself becoming angry. As my denial was lifted I began the healing process. In my experience, I had to grieve the impact of the vines, as they had attached themselves to my being. Essentially, to be free from the vines of life, I needed to grieve the impact of the vines.
Please read Part 2 for context. Thank you.
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