WordFood - how we feed or starve our realtionships

- Julia Hubbel

Julia’s ability to get this group of type-A executives to engage in true networking was incredible. She is truly skilled at motivating the group to engage and interact with each other, and her openness and honesty really come through.

— Shelley Stewart, Jr.,
Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer, Tyco

December 11, 2012

Choosing our Gifts this Year

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Julia Hubbel @ 3:33 pm

Every year some of us go home to our families for the holidays. For some, this is the best time of year, and for some it’s the toughest. Holidays are, if one is to believe the hype and the cards and all the tradition, the time we all get together and celebrate each other, our closeness, and why families are important.

For some folks, that just isn’t the case. I have a friend for whom family is heartbreak, and he is hardly alone. Trips home for him are an agony. They inevitably involve big arguments, too much alcohol, old angers and bitterness that get brought out and aired, and the same old hurts that surface. Old buttons get pushed. Parents and kin know where those buttons are because they installed them. It happens every year. For people like this friend, holidays are not holidays. They are an exercise in hurt feelings, in anger, in bad memories.

If this perhaps is your family, maybe it’s time to bring home something different. It’s important to remember that we bring our experiences to ourselves, and that they are there to teach us something about ourselves. Life doesn’t happen to us, it is us. Our family is a mirror, a microcosm of what is going on inside us. It may be very hard to realize that the characteristics that made Dad so annoying exist in us, too. That make our sister Ann such a loser with men also exist in us. We are our family, our family is us. To be able to embrace all these characteristics is to see our own humanity in their humanity, and to forgive them is to forgive ourselves. This takes us to a wholly different level. The notion “what we resist, persists” is a great truth when it comes to families.

The ability not just to tolerate our families’ idiosyncrasies but to embrace and love them is one of the great gifts of the holidays. They mirror our best and worst selves. We cannot run away from who we are. Our families are us. Their DNA is our DNA. They annoy us because they reflect us. This is tough stuff. In fact, it is the toughest. But to be able to come home and see not only your worst but also your best in your family is what the holidays are all about.

No matter where you spend the holidays, your family is with you. Love them or hate them, this is a statement of how much we love or hate ourselves. A powerful gift this holiday season is to love our families because they show us who we are, whether or not we are at ease with the message. It is a statement of courage to accept our families, healthy or not, damaged or not, and wish them well. They have made us who we are today. Wherever you spend the holidays, see if you can accept this gift.

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