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115. Perfect By Design: 6 Ways to Reframe the Holidays with Family

Speaker 2

00:00

Every situation that I am in be at my family dynamic or otherwise is a place for me to be restricting and growing and changing and learning. And when you view it like that they're simply a teacher then even if they're being very silly and being very wrong, still teacher for me.

Speaker 1

00:33

Welcome to spiritually, hungry podcast by the time you hear this, you will be. You have had your fair share of turkey and.

Speaker 2

00:43

They live in the United States.

Speaker 1

00:45

Cranberry sauce, true? But I think that this what we want to talk about is this time of year in general, many opportunities to try to be your best self among people that might trigger the most it just family. So Thanksgiving starts this off. So first holiday in the season which is marked as the happiest time of the year and on the surface. What's not to like elaborate dinners with friends and family gift giving and receiving and curling up in front of the fireplace and comfy slippers are the order of the day. Yet, like so many things. The fantasy doesn't always match reality. We strive for Norman Rockwell scene, but often end up with well real life.

Speaker 2

01:30

Well, I was going to ask. What do you think the percentage? Judges.

Speaker 1

01:32

Of people who actually enjoy this time.

Speaker 2

01:36

Let us go study somewhere.

Speaker 1

01:37

Instead of saying like, I love to feel all those feelings but I find myself hosting a lot and then it takes me away from really spending time with people, I want to the most like really enjoying that time, so I am like running this that and things are messy and then my Virgo nature kicks in and then I end up cleaning and then that's time that I didn't spend with people I want to do so. Navigating family or group dynamics of any kind during the holidays, can sometimes feel heavy some of us even dread it, but we always have a choice to shift our mindset to be one of gratitude and joy and in doing so completely Transforming Our experience. So gratitude obviously is one way to make sure you are able to keep check on your thoughts and your actions and your words and make sure they're sprinkled with kindness. I think appreciation really is, you know, it's so great that people want to spend time with me or, you know, have invited me or I have people to invite in my home, where I have a home because so many people are without right? So, I think that's first and foremost, but there's so much more than.

Speaker 2

02:45

That. And actually, you know if you were planning on sharing this, but actually, I think was yesterday, you share with me a conversation. You had with somebody about, you know, they have an aging parent and you were really trying to encourage them. Even though they had all kinds of reasons in their mind.

Speaker 1

03:02

Of their childhood.

Speaker 2

03:03

Even. Exactly. So, so do you mind share? I thought there was very good, beautiful, and important thought for our listeners.

Speaker 1

03:10

I think for everybody, I mean, certainly there're different levels. There're different degrees in terms of hurt and Trauma even abuse, but let us just speak about for the average person, right? We often still at age, 40 50 are holding on to what our parents did do. Didn't do should have done how they heard us all of our hurt. And I think that at some point, right? I think each person has to ask themselves this question, and this is what I did for me, which really fundamentally shifted my relationship with my mom because my father is not here. She's the only parent I have now and, you know, everybody changes for good or bad, and we're all going through different experiences, different things. Of course. There's my father has been a really hard time for her seeing him sick for so many years was really difficult for her. So it's changed her and ways. And I remember This conversation. And I have given this advice to so many people since we're talking about this, and I was saying, oh, you know, I wish my mom was behaving like she always did her when she was this way or that way. And then it's like, you know what? If she was no longer here, I would be completely devastated. And I am just so grateful to have her in my life, which means that it's now my turn to be really the adult, in the sense of how can I give to her? How can I make sure she's happy? How can I nurture her? So, instead of what did my mom do, or didn't do? And I have a good relationship with our, I always had but like anything, you know, of course, we're going to get triggered, of course, a relationship with the people closest to you will always be challenged and will always be changing and you have to recognize that and step up. And so my advice was exactly that, you know, I think that and I share this and I said, you know if I think about my mom and I think about all the things that she did or didn't do I live action? Don't even think about those things anymore. I just see her hand. Caring for me, see your hand. When I was a baby, I see her hand. Holding her first grandchild to see our hand. Helping me, give our children a bath. I see her doing that, and it just warms my heart and that takes me back to appreciation. And I also said, you know if, when a person leaves this world, the ones that we care most about all those things you remember today about, you know, that time they hurt me on this significant day in my life and that other time didn't show up for me in the way that I thought, you know, what happens when that person is no longer here. It's the craziest thing because I have experienced it. Suddenly you cannot remember one bad thing that they ever did. And all you remember is the goodness the imparted upon you. And you can't even go back and say, wait, I will my God, I realized this or I love you or I appreciate your I am sorry that I treated you badly because you know, and that's how the world works. You know, death is such an important part of life for that reason. Mainly.

Speaker 2

05:58

Yeah, I thought it was so beautiful. I really hope that our listeners hear it because Again, all family Dynamics are a complicated, I don't know there. I mean, I know there's no such thing as an easy family Dynamic, but I think appreciate him it specifically. And again, it might be a little bit, you know, uncomfortable for some of our listeners to think those. Those of us, those who have a family or parents that with which they have, they have had issues and what child has had issues with their parents. But that thought that the reality is that if you had a choice between them being here in, whatever Endeavor State, and Opacity versus not. And secondly, the fact that there will come a time when you will look back and have so much appreciation and all those other things, but probably not even make the make your view. Why not live in that state?

Speaker 1

06:47

Now and also see their life for what their life should be for them. I think very often in a dynamic between parents and children, we only see it through the lens of my parents. Be the provider financially emotionally, physically in every aspect because that's how it's set up and when we come in the world, right? Of course, that is how it is. But at some point, it's each person's responsibility to say, wait a second, this person did not only come into this world, to take care of me and to raise me, they were supposed to do that for a significant period of their lives in the way that they did. And yes, there should always be that nurturing and love because after all they did bring me on the world but it's not their responsibility there. Our sole responsibility their life's purpose, just to make sure I am happy. And all my needs are met. And I think, unfortunately, for most people, they never stop and say, wait a second. My expectation, for my parent is completely off here. I need to now become the giver and not just the receiver of the relationship, and then when he starts switch that, then you realize that relationship is supposed to get to a stage where it's equal giving, and receiving in that at some point, parents become a little bit less able as they get older. And then you're really supposed to step up in a different capacity, that's the Blows my mind about parent-child relationships and I know we're not fully going there, but I do think it's important to touch upon.

Speaker 2

08:07

This very important point. I want to underscore that. That, like you said, I think people get tripped up later in life short happens when we will happen to all of us. Remember, we're young, right? But especially making that transition that the relationship was meant to change. And, and the question we have to ask ourselves is, how am I changing in that way, becoming more of a giver rather than a receiver. At least thinking about this relationship more in a way that how Can I give to them rather than, how can I, how are they not fulfilling when I want to be taking from.

Speaker 1

08:36

Then? Right. And I think that, of course, it's hard because a person won't really come to that of. Oh, how can I, how can I take care of this person who's taking care of me? Because we're still not space of well. They didn't really show up for me in the way that I wanted or didn't do enough for me. I never had the mother I wanted or the father that I wanted. Okay, well, if you weren't supposed to, I guess, it depends on what you do with everything. You have been given both good and bad. And, unfortunately, the things that disappoint us weave Tend to just stay there instead of saying, wait a second. There's a beautiful purpose for this to.

Speaker 2

09:07

Beautiful. It's really important idea and I would like to share something that's a little bit. I think I can explain this well so And something that guides me a lot in decisions that I make and how I interact with family. So many of us know, that one of the Ten Commandments is honor, respect your father and your mother. And I often have this thought both my parents are no longer in this physical world, you know, and is and I believe this great light in behaving in that way, you know. So the everyone so I had this thought oh that no longer applies to me right under and then but then of course I reminded him that's not true. True isn't true. Did you can definitely continue to honor your parents even if they're not physically in this world and specifically again. And I try to do that in many different ways, but specifically the question I often ask myself and interacting with family members isn't so much. What do I want to do? Well, where do I think the right thing is? But rather what would they want me to do? What would they think the right thing? And even if I disagree with them, still I actually consciously say I am going to make this choice. I don't necessarily agree with it. I don't necessarily think it's the right. Thing but I know this is what my father or my mother would want, this is what they thought was the right thing. And then if I am going to do it and I think there's great power in that you know I think sometimes again we often like to think well okay, I am the adult now whatever I, you know, they're no longer here, I will make the choices again. The church that I think are right.

Speaker 1

10:34

Are you saying specific things with other family members that you don't want to do or that? But you know that If they were here that would have made them proud, or they would have felt that was the right thing. Exactly. You want to give us a specific example.

Speaker 2

10:51

I am trying to think it's many different ones and it's often difficult decisions. I can think of you know sort of one the makes sense to share. Just the fact that it comes up a lot and I always go there. First again it doesn't always by the way to be clear. There are times when I think. Okay, my mother would want me to do this but I really, really don't think it's the right thing. So I won't do it or their other times I say, you know, I think my father or my mother would want me to do this and even though I really don't want to I am going to do it anyway because they would so it's a balance it's not a carte blanche at that, you know, always do it. But I just find it very empowering and in a way I feel it's the right then. So coming with you Miller D it just because they're no longer here and able to either impose or ask for what they would want to say. No, I still owe them a.

Speaker 1

11:43

Lot. It's interesting as you were speaking. I was thinking that You know, there are certain times when in families you maybe do need not speak to one another and need to take a break. It could take a year, it could take it two years because there needs to be a real shift in the relationship. And so sometimes people won't accept that boundaries need to be enforced, and they push back and push back on. The only thing to do in that situation, sometimes is to remove yourself. And I have had that in my family is what somebody specific. It's happened three different times when I have had to remove myself but the interesting thing is I always went back to this will only be for a period of time because they don't believe and not talking to people. I think that you can always get to a place where you can create a new normal. You can have human dignity respect for one another, but I actually this third time that it happened. I found a card that my father had written me because sometimes I like to read cards that he wrote me for holiday is reform. Birthday just to bring him back to the now At this moment, and he wrote something while I am going to give too much information. So it was one of my sisters that I was not getting on with. But I read this card and I felt that we had come to a place where we could start again. But I read the card at the same time and my father said, and I always want you to be close to your sisters and to love them and I didn't take that as a coincidence, right? I thought, you know, and I know that my parents is very important that their daughters are always friends and it's And to me also and I just think for our listeners, even if there's somebody that's difficult in the family or you have a difficult relationship, or you find yourself that you really need to remove yourself to grip boundaries just think about. There's always a way to be able to hold space for yourself and for others I guess first you have to know how to do that though for yourself and then you can re invite those people back into your.

Speaker 2

13:37

Lives. Yeah absolutely. It's interesting to talk about not quit until coincidences they just yesterday. It was a few. Friends were visiting my parents resting place in Israel as far. I was on the phone with them, and we're sharing stories and one of them, shared a specific story about my mother and then as I hung up the phone, you know, on the Apple phones, they will suggest photos, and they change different times. So I literally, as I woke hung up the phone, suddenly a picture of my mother came up in a sort of advisor. I saw that as a sign and also I know you like Monica likes when I share personal stories. So just talking about, I guess, For family. So my father had very will see interesting family Dynamic. He was the youngest of three boys, three boys. And his two older brothers were much, much older than him. So he basically had no relationship with them and at a certain point when we were living in Israel. So, my father was in Israel, his two brothers, and father, who was still alive at the time. We're living in the United States, there was a big falling out between his father and one of the brothers and Another other brother and from that moment on the one brother where the falling-out just lost moved away and there was no contact ever. And my father didn't even know when his older the oldest brother passed away, he was only able to maintain contact with his father and the other brother. And, so I and I think I am going to share this one of our podcast is that in one of the last conversations I had with my mother just sort of casually real conversations. I started asking her about my father's father, who I have never met he passed away very close to when I was born and his brothers, my mother really didn't? She know one of them. Okay, nummy, not that. Well in the third other brother, she's a know-it-all and I just do it in a band. I am a very sentimental person in that way. So I found myself I think it was last week literally going to a rabbit hole and that's what Rabbit Hole.

Speaker 1

15:41

Was that why you show me that picture? Yeah, so I started looked at my father's.

Speaker 2

15:44

Here. Book. And, you know, you could always just crazy, you can still find these things. And then, a little bit about his one brother, his name was Oscar and the other brother's name was, it was a leg. And.

Speaker 1

15:56

It's interesting that the point is, what's the.

Speaker 2

15:59

English name because that was my again, I get too deep into family history. Actually, was he actually had an English name and it.

Speaker 1

16:10

Was a kind of like Sailing by the way. That's really cool.

Speaker 2

16:16

Welcome to me. But my point is that, that especially as we think about our kids and our grandkids and great grandkids that Being able to give over either. If it's in person, if you have these family eventually in person or even, just having some sort of closeness that you're able to give over is actually really important. I think we often underestimate what that means to our kids meaning. So, sometimes they are, we have to forego and this annoying relative or that annoying relative, but that sense of family, something that not just the obvious ways and in the conscious ways, our families need them. And the more we can do in, even in time for it doesn't, it's not comfortable in all the Ins we can come up for not to be there. I would strongly recommend it being there. Which.

Speaker 1

16:59

Do you feel like you needed that?

Speaker 2

17:02

In retrospect? I don't think I am lacking in any way that curious I guess it's curious. Yeah I don't feel act I would have liked to had more even more knowledge. If not even more interaction with them.

Speaker 1

17:16

You can be close to my family sweetie. I think I am close to.

Speaker 2

17:20

Our family which is really but I think it again, it does, it does. Help guide me in many of those sort of, you know, uncomfortable situations or decisions that are that you have to make, which I think leads well into another idea which I wanted to share. And this is true not just during the holiday season where one often spends time with their families but there's three spiritual guiding principles that I would like to highlight for myself to keep in mind. I think it's important for our listeners to keep in mind whether you're actually physically with your family even just thinking about your parents. So First know that your family is perfect. What do I mean? We know.

Speaker 1

18:00

That you just triggered a whole bunch of people all over the world just now.

Speaker 2

18:06

Perfect for.

Speaker 1

18:08

Ya.

Speaker 2

18:10

So, I will give an example this week. I was talking to a student who had a terrible childhood, literally terrible childhood, I can't even go into all the details, just know that it was terrible. Our parents were terrible parents, and she had a terrible childhood. Then I asked her, I.

Speaker 1

18:25

Said.

Speaker 2

18:27

Then I asked her. I said, you know, you know, I said I am so sorry, and she said, actually shouldn't be sorry, because all of that trauma made me into the successful person that I am today. Now, not everybody gets their right. And I know many people who get stuck in that because again, to be clear. This does not mean that the behavior of this parent or that parent was right? It doesn't make the behavior, right? But if you're able to see how it made you and you're actively pursued that, why did my parents have to be, you know, withholding all. Because in this way I learned in, this is the example, this person I was starting to use this taught me how not to be with my kids and have to be, actually the opposite of that with my kids.

Speaker 1

19:11

So what's interesting, unless you have studied some kind of spirituality, it can cut. Well, none of the get there. You want to know what the usual understanding of why? Why bad situations people circumstance? Have come into my life. A place people stay at the most and every time I work with somebody new, they eventually in the first or second conversation when they bring the issue up I mean I am a good person. I don't deserve this which means they think they deserve this, and they punish themselves, and they go back and forth between the two, and I am always like okay everything in your life is going to happen to you unless you understand and shift that it's perfect. What you're saying and this is meant to be in, these people are mirrors for you and then it can happen through you. I think the other thing people do, right? So either they take it on like they're not enough or that person is horrible and there's no, there's nothing for them to learn from it and get, I am not talking about crazy, crazy off-the-charts abuse, but it's like, you know, it's your mirror and then basically like oh, you don't really like what you're seeing in the mirror, right? Because you're seeing your own behavior or Something that you need to learn or needs to be changed in you and therefore, you focus just on what that person is doing. That's not good or not.

Speaker 2

20:29

Enough. Absolutely. So that's the first principle. Your family was and is.

Speaker 1

20:34

Perfect designed for I designed. Exactly. And I think again that's it more clear way of saying it because by Design means. Okay you know I understand this is a custom program, like I think about a workout buddy, let us say you have a trainer they have customized something just for yourself. Body for the things that you actually ultimately want to change, right? You want smaller hips a tiny but whatever your bigger calves, I don't know, whatever your goals are for a flat belly, I wouldn't mind that and then every step of the way you're like this is hard. I hate it, I am not enjoying this. I don't want this. In fact, I am not even sure you're a good trainer at all the things. Why? Because this thing that was created for us. By designed for us, for what we really ultimately do know would e 4r Improvement or a betterment? Then we end up saying that. No, I don't want this. So.

Speaker 2

21:26

Absolutely exactly. But and I would strongly say that do that work, which is think about, I can think about.

Speaker 1

21:33

Except that first accept that person, understand that accept the process and understand that, this is by Design.

Speaker 2

21:38

Right? And even if you're no longer home, even if you're 50 years old and you have your own family, think about your child and say, okay, so my parents did this, which was wrong, it was hurtful. How do I change even How did I change? How do I change even today to learn from myself and that situation and I strongly believe in? I have seen this that when you are able to learn what you are meant to learn, then you're actually able to let it.

Speaker 1

22:05

Go. Exactly. And I will share that I did just a few weeks ago about a story about my father when I broke my wrist. Remember, and he didn't believe me, and then he shook my hand and I and only when I put my head down on the table, crying in pain him, And didn't eat dinner and didn't say anything. But I finally heard that became a pattern for me for a long time. When I was really hurting, I didn't eat. I got really sad and I put my head down then when I became an adult, I realized no, no. All right. I became empowered to what I look back at that story, breaking my wrist, what it taught me because and that's why I don't have any upset or anger around it or blame my parents or anything taught me. This a know if you feel like something's really wrong in your body or in your life experience, it's your responsibility stand up and say, no, I am Hurt and I need help. That's what I learned from it. But you know what? If I didn't decide to become that person that I could look back at that memory and many more that came after it and say, look in. This is why I don't have a voice or this is why I can't say it's their fault. It's just everything is completely set up for your growth if you see it that way.

Speaker 2

23:09

Absolutely. And the second principle, which is related to the first is and this again only comes from a spiritual view when a person says I need the situation. So let us say you're at Thanksgiving or you were our Thanksgiving, you will be spending the holidays over the next few weeks and you're not comfortable for something. Makes you uncomfortable. Somebody says something. Somebody does something. The View that we try to develop the spiritual view, is everything that happens around me. And to me, is here to teach me doesn't mean again to be very, very good. It does not mean that the behavior. They're exhibiting, it's correct, but it does mean that if I am experiencing it, there is something for me to change. Maybe my ego needs to be diminished. Not comfortable, not comfortable. But maybe this is the perfect process for it. So, when you view all the family Dynamics again, especially to be really clear, caveat all the terrible abuse. We're not talking about that. When we talk about the regular, you know, uncomfortable family Dynamics. I am supposed to be learning from them. I am supposed to be growing with him, and I am a spiritual being that wants to become better, which means how do I deal with stress? How do I deal with somebody who says something nasty about the turkey that I, that I baked, and so on, and so forth, cooked, T', if you view life in that way and certainly view your family dynamic in that way, it changes it. It certainly makes it less stressful. You can even say, oh that's you know, they just said something wasn't right, but I am happy for my ego to be diminished in that way or this something that I can learn from.

Speaker 1

24:37

That. My thing, a great tool here is humor. I think, when people behaved very badly, you can either get really upset, get really reactive, or you can do the opposite and just laugh it off. So, for instance, when he said do this trick, I was the one who didn't like this, you would have hated last night's dinner. You can actually not take it to heart. It's really about their own lack. Some people complain about everything, right? You don't have to be sucked into that movie or sometimes people act really inappropriate. And I was like, okay well you know it's wrong what they're saying? But let me try to see if it's funny. There's always a way you can choose your response and that really happens if you don't internalize right what they're saying.

Speaker 2

25:18

Right? I think that's a very important for you. Because what causes the upset is when you take it in rather than saying, okay this is a very silly person seeing something very silly but by the way, they might be something here for me to learn. Maybe how not be reactive and it'd be hard, not to take things inside, maybe it's the ministry go but the bottom line in all of that is that every situation that I am in because my family dynamic or otherwise is a place for me to be restricting and growing and changing and learning. And when you view it like that, they're simply a teacher. Even if they're being very silly and being very wrong, still a teacher for me and again but I think the point that you made which is very important, don't internalize it again. So again like if somebody said your turkey that you have made a terrible it's you could still no it's not true and you can still know that what they said was wrong but you can still learn from that or simply how to restrict how to not take in other people's.

Speaker 1

26:15

Comments. They would all The Comebacks. You could say, they are in my turkeys feelings. All right. Don't be a turkey.

Speaker 2

26:23

The third, the third principle which I think is very important is what you mentioned before, gratitude, you know, I have said this many times since my parents have left, this physical world, people, who, and everybody has interesting family Dynamics, when they are no longer here. You're left with appreciation, do everything you can to awaken appreciation. Appreciation, does not mean, everything's going right appreciation. Doesn't mean there's doing everything the way they. I want them to be doing it. It means they're there and I appreciate them. And if I believe strongly, if you're able to live, these three principles with your family and really this is true for everywhere, right? It's a perfect situation for me. I need to be growing and learning. I am so excited for this growing opportunity and third, Awakening greater and greater appreciation. Not only will your family Dynamic, be more positive for you. But you actually benefit from even the uncomfortable situations that come.

Speaker 1

27:23

Up. I think, also prepare yourself ahead of time repair your expectations of what the holiday will look like what your participation will be what you wanted to be, how you want your interactions. Be of course, you can't control the outcome, but I think Very often, we have this again. Norman Rockwell idea picture, and it's gonna go like that. It's not like, I mean, I have certainly done that. I have a very creative imagination, everything I see is in picture. First, I have really learned to not so much do that, and the way I am going into the holidays, is it's going to be messy. It doesn't matter if the kitchens a mess, really, it's not. I am telling my uncle took. I will still tell you to quit, but I really want to have fun. I want to laugh. I want to Experience, my family and Abigail said something to me. Last week I have been working like crazy since August. It's been Non-Stop and I know it and I felt not balanced in terms of my giving to, you know, the pillars in my life equally or fairly or as I even want to write because it's always going to be a little imbalance, but I really felt way off balance. And we didn't have school one day, and we had the whole day together. We did things around the book. We went to ask her old school room has, and we read our book two different classes. We did workshops.

Speaker 2

28:44

So that even your time off with your.

Speaker 1

28:46

Kids, fun work. And it was purposeful and who spent the entire day, dentist, appointment, and then we did some other things, and then she had her after school activity. So she went to go do that. Nobody else took her, and then she came back home, and she was in a different mood and I said, what's going on? Just like, I don't know, I am just in a bad mood and I said why just like I don't know what's been happening lately like I know what it is. And God bless. I love that she has access to her emotions but also that she feel safe to share it with me. And she said, I just, I miss you and I didn't realize how much I missed you until I spend the whole day with you, and I am not having enough time with you, and I am not okay with that. And she started negotiating the days of the week. I should pick her up and reorganizing the schedule. But I first of all, was so. Should have and it really like even though I knew there was an imbalance, it really made me stop and say, okay no more but also just I have that in my head going into the holidays like I want to be with those people that really feel my lack, if they're not being touched by me, my hand in their lives. Like I was explaining my own mom. So that's really like you decide what you want to do, what you want your efforts to look like. The giving and the receiving to who and how that balances and then all the other stuff doesn't really matter.

Speaker 2

30:08

That's a beautiful thought, maybe to leave our listeners with that. Remember, what's important? And what's important is being with those that you love that, how good the food is or how perfect the conversation.

Speaker 1

30:20

Is, right? And how bad the food is, exactly? So yeah, how about the.

Speaker 2

30:24

Conversation or the? Even the dynamic don't look for Perfection at all. You made an.

Speaker 1

30:28

Apple pie. I like pumpkin.

Speaker 2

30:31

But appreciate the fact that you get to spend these moments with people that you love and that love.

Speaker 1

30:37

You, you have a place to go, you know. Yeah.

Speaker 2

30:40

So I think that was a perfect way to end this and I hope for our listeners that we really use this time of year. Where many of us are spending time with family and friends to elevate our view interaction and therefore what we receive from these really beautiful times, and we get to spend with those that we love. As always, I hope you enjoyed listening to this podcast as much as we enjoyed recording.

Speaker 1

31:05

It. Stay spiritually, hungry. Even if you're full from Turkey.

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