When we get into very high stress situations our natural tendency is to fall back onto our most established coping strategies. These are typically ones developed in youth, and if you come from an abusive, neglectful, toxic or chaotic home life, then these coping strategies may not be the best.
So if you find that over the holidays you had to interact with family who trigger you into old patterns, the first step is to understand why this happens and then to give yourself some compassion.
You are not forever doomed to keep repeating this pattern. But if you don’t practice self-compassion around this issue, then you may feel so bad about yourself and your choices that you give up.
But I am here to remind you that even if you regressed a little bit this holiday (or a lot), that this does not prevent you from taking a deep breath and trying to make better decisions moving forward. Each day and each moment we are faced with decisions we have an opportunity to choose something that is healthier, more consistent with our values, etc.
We all mess up from time to time, but each day brings us new opportunities to work it out, to practice new ways of being and to get it right.
Don’t give up, you can do this!