~~~ aftermasFor those of you with dysfunctional families who just survived another painful Christmas, some notes:

~ Congratulations.  You didn’t murder anyone.  You didn’t kill yourself, either.  You’re not in a holding cell or a hospital.  Sure, you sustained some emotional wounds.  But it’s over now.  You survived another one.  Congratulations.

~ Forgive yourself.  Maybe you failed to make everyone happy.  Maybe you weren’t as happy as you hoped to be.  Maybe you ate, drank, spent, or something-else too much.  Maybe you lost it with someone.  Maybe things went off the rails in another way.  Fuck it.  You did the best you could this year.  It’s over.  Move on.

~ Make lemonade.  A dysfunctional family is a heartless machine; it chews up everyone unlucky enough to get tangled in its gears.  It’s nobody’s fault, really.  Most of the machine’s victims don’t set out to hurt others.  They just do the best they can with impaired understanding and limited resources.  The real enemy here is a pathology so complex and subtle it takes therapists years of study to figure it out.  What can you do?  Make lemonade out of this lemony Christmas.  Learn something about why things went wrong.  The most important lesson may be to have more realistic expectations next year — of yourself, other people, of the holiday itself.  If you can learn that, and go into next Christmas with your eyes wide open, maybe this will be the last really bad one. 

Merry Aftermas.


~ Steve & Bert




4 responses to “Aftermas

  • wianno96

    Expectations have generally left me disappointed.
    Set an intention. Do our best. Try not to take anything personally.

  • Ali

    I was listening when I read your last post on expectations.
    Was able to uncover some one I’d not realised I had, like expecting to feel happy, or magical, or full of forgiveness for those who hurt me.
    So I wasn’t, I was just feeling as it went along..not scared to either.
    And guess what..I laughed, and cried with laughter, and enjoyed my son, daughter and grandsons company more than I can remember.
    Letting go of unconscious and conscious expectations works
    Thanks Steve.
    Best Xmas yet
    Ali 🙂

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