My daughter wrote out christmas cards and on one of them she wrote in huge letters “The ghost of Christmas past” and we laughed about it because it was so intense. “Yikes,” I joked, “who is getting this card?” I won’t tell you who got it but I will tell you that the metaphor of that card and what happened on the day couldn’t have been more accurate.
The day of Christmas came and went and with it all the emotions: joy, madness, exhaustion, elation, some missing of friends, etc. My little one decided that getting up at 2am would be a brilliant idea. I did not agree. That was a long bridge to getting her to finally going back to sleep and waking up at 7 (finally!!!) to open presents.
When the family meal happened we were visited by no other than the ghost of christmas past. A guest I had not anticipated.
This guest walked in to the home and slammed down his contribution of food and gifts and demanded to know why some guests had not arrived yet. His anger was out of proportion to the experience. From his reaction you would think this was a life or death situation where a kidney had not arrived on time and someone was going to die. No, this was a gift exchange, some laughter and some food shared between people. He was so upset that he stated that this will be the last Christmas he ever participates in. (Wow, was I missing something?) The escalation was quelled by a quick subject change and an introduction to my daughters new found magic tricks.
It bummed me out that the joy of the day was not as much of a priority as the need for anger. Regardless, I still found a gift in the experience and I’ll tell you want that was.
Throughout my upbringing chaos at the holiday meal table was to be expected. No one got along and everyone was really happy to be mad. I was always 10-15 years younger than even my youngest sibling so most of the anger was really confusing to me. While the arguments went over my head, the emotions still lingered within me. I was often really upset and had stomach aches after these gatherings and I never really got why.
Understanding in retrospect that my exposure to these events as a young empath were super toxic on my wellbeing and that at that young age I had not been given the tools to reduce their effect. Yet as devastating as those events were, they were part of the foundation that lead me to seek out the path of peace that I chose to live today. And as toxic as those experiences felt, without them I would not have found the determination to refuse to host them in my own home or adult heart.
So on this day I was able to turn the situation into an experience that showed me my relationship with my past and how much I had grown. Not only that, but the opening scene’s outburst (and later a miniature one at the end of the evening) really showed me that I have learned tools to identify, shield and release negative energy on command.
Quick tips for dealing with such a situation:
- Before anyone comes set the intention to shield your energy and surrounded it with love. (The intention is good enough)
- Know your own energetic set point. Your true emotional north. When are you in your own energy? Do you know how that feels? (Hint: You are happy)
- Choose the willingness to have peace over being the need to be right. This is probably the most important element. If someone has arrived with guns blazing they are going to be right in their eyes no matter what. You are not going to change their mind just move forward with your own dedication to peace.
- When the event is over clean your energy. This can be as easy as taking a shower or a salt bath adding epsom salt to the water or you can listen to a grounding meditation. There is one included in the free creative jump start challenge. That is here: http://artwithintention.com/creativejumpstart/
At the end of the day we can’t control, nor always anticipate all of the potentials of energetic experiences that may come across our path, but we can be in charge of managing our own energy in their wake.
I made a podcast about this too, you can hear it here: http://artwithintention.com/podcast/
And as always, if you want to reach out and connect with me in person, I am always here.
Also published on Medium.