Thanksgiving Tips To Get Through

It’s here, it’s finally here.  The start of the holidays can begin.  For all of those that have been dreading this or those who welcome it, it’s time to go into full gear. With that said not everyone will be spending the holidays with the most accepting family or friends.  Honestly I would suggest to avoid drama to have a Friendsgiving meal instead of with family if the situation is toxic.  Life is too short to be arguing over the dinner table.  I would rather family be mad and get over it then to have to spend the holidays overwhelmed, angry, and then have this feeling stick with you for days.  This is not that I do not like family gatherings, I do but I am anti stress of any sorts regardless of the occasion.  In case you just can’t just not show up to a family gathering and you know there will unavoidable drama here are my tips to get you through:

  1. Have an exit plan. If you are traveling with others, make a code word. Something that only you and the ones you came in with know. Honor your sanity to know that you don’t have to spend a whole day, if after some time you are ready to roll, then do so.  You are grown.  Do NOT make up an excuse. Just simply be gracious, thank your host, and then leave.  If you have to make an excuse then you haven’t realized how grown you are.
  2. Take a deep breath.  Folks gon work your nerves. There’s no way around it. Be prepared for it.
  3. Don’t answer everything.  Sometimes we talk to much just to prove a point and why?  It’s not necessary.  You don’t have to be right.  There’s peace and letting folks play themselves.  It’s amazing the folks every holiday that got a word for YOUR life, but yet ain’t got one for their own. Less is best.
  4. As long as you’re not on alcoholic tendencies, grab a drink but don’t overdo it.  Two people tell the truth and that’s kids and drunk folks.  Loose lips sink ships.  So do not become so drunk that you allow your drunk muscles to speak for you.  This is when things go left and what you should have dealt with sober you try to deal with liquid courage.
  5. Bring a hostess gift.  Do you know the worst thing about the holidays is the part where folks talk about the ones who just come through with a plate but don’t ever bring anything to contribute.  Bring something.  Even if its momma house and she insist, slide momma a few dollars. Do something.
  6. Remember that Thanksgiving is one day.  Do not fall into the trap in putting more power in the day that you forget what the day is about.
  7. If things get heated, retreat, leave, walk away.  You know you are going to hear the same stories. the same drama, and the same everything, be prepared for it.
  8. Be realistic.  If you chalk it up to be more than what you know it will be, you will be the only one disappointed.
  9. Have some fun-yes with all of the stress to prepare the perfect meal, be the best host, or just avoid going to jail remember to have a little fun.  Play some games, enjoy that beverage, enjoy that piece of pie-enjoy!
  10. Do not bring anyone to someone else’s house without speaking with them beforehand.  No you can’t bring your new flavor of this week to the dinner.  We don’t want to meet them. No you can’t just bring a random dude to momma house. See them afterwards.  I know people want to bring them a tenderoni to the dinner but unless you clear it with the hoss, meet up for some after Thanksgiving night cap and leave it at that. If you don’t take heed the only tenderoni you gon have is some ricearoni or get hemmed up in a corner.  There are rules so know the rules before you go to someone’s house.
  11. For the single that get the when you getting married question, just be gracious. No matter what you say or do they gon ask.  You might as well deal.  If you are married and you get the whole, when are you having kids find a way to be gracious instead of mad.  If you feel the need to be a little bit more stern than do so but remember stern don’t have to be ignorant unless someone has asked you several times in the same night and won’t respect your no.
  12. If you are married or dating and you are going over your in-laws or future in-laws, take the cue in how to deal with their family from your mate or boo. Stop overstepping your boundaries. Everybody family ain’t saved and you might get a bite you wasn’t expecting.  Attempt to be respectful.  If you feel you can’t remove yourself.

I hope you all have a great holiday. It will take a cool down, being focused on what the holiday is about, having a plan of action, and removing yourself from stressful situations to do that.  Remember self-care sometimes means saying no, not over doing it, enjoying the moment and controlling your own responses.  Have a good one and keep these things in mind.

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Stress Awareness: Emotional Stress

Emotional stress is one of the stressors that attaches itself to one of the other stresses we discussed.  If your mind is all over the place, allowing you to think about all kinds of thing it will affect your emotions and can cause physical stress.  You can’t really be mentally or physically stressed and it doesn’t mess with your emotions.  They are sidekicks to yourself.

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However you can calm your emotions to began to handle things and alleviate the other stresses.  One of the reasons is that out of your mouth your heart speaks.  What you talk about, give life to shows where you are.  When you say you are over something and you think you are but keep talking about it still has you.  When you aren’t phased by something is when you let things go.  So how do you handle emotional stress?  Getting to the root of what is tugging at your heart.  If you are hurt you tend to hurt others in your words, deeds, etc. Lashing out sometimes only reveals what is really going on.  However don’t expect the world to give you a pass just because something is bothering you. Everyone around is having a hard time and only really mature people even take the time to weed out your mess and want to assist you.  Others will tell you that they are here for you but aren’t.  These types of heart issues have to come from you doing some work on the inside out.

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I have said it before sometimes writing things down or even saying it gets it out.  Once out you can own it and then find ways to fix it.  Not everything can be fixed.  There will be tines when apologies will never come from the very ones who are fully aware that they did you wrong.  There are so many people in the grave who have power on those of us who are living because we won’t forgive.  And although some take it as cliché, forgiveness is really for you.  It frees you.  It makes you whole.  You can be whole without someone apologizing to you when you learn to drop the charges against them.  It doesn’t mean that they deserve it.  It doesn’t mean you will forget about it.  It just means you don’t need to carry the weight of what others have done.  Let’s be honest, people are rude People are inconsiderate and people say and do mean things.  You don’t have to like it but nothing that someone else has done should make you not live the best life that you can. It’s like being miserable while the others around you continue their life.  This happens all the time.  It’s hard to forgive and move on but its worth your peace to do it.

Take some time not to mask what you feel but to deal with it.  You may not be able to get closure but you can close the books to your heart and move to a positive place in your life.

 

National Let it GO Day!

Well I am the master or at least the one who knows the national list of days.  Today is no different.  Today is national let it go day.  What a great day to let things go.  If you can read this blog today, than you are on the good side of life regardless of what your situations, relationships, situationships, etc. say.

You are in the right place at the right time.  I know that seems a little scary when you have your eyes on the things around you.  Letting go is hard.  I will not kid you.  It is allowing a charge that is usually rightfully placed and letting it go.  Now in letting it go it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t bother you.  It means you are simply taking the sting away from your heart and mind.  You are not allowing the person or thing to drive you one way or another. Letting it go has many stages.  Sometimes you are mad as hell, and sometimes you cry. Sometimes you are sad, and often times want to scream or even hit something or someone.  Let’s be real.  Folks want to paint letting it go like its all flowers and roses and it’s not.  We ALL have been in situations where we have opened ourselves to something or someone and have been hurt, disappointed or even broken.  We vow never to allow it again but guess what hurt comes in waves and in many forms.

As you protect yourself from pain understand that it’s a necessary part of life.  One thing I need to say is this, in letting go you need to get it out.  Often we want to be tough cookies and are walking around cess pools of emotions because we don’t release it.  You have to get it out.  How you get it out is not by self medicating.  You need to talk about it, be honest about how what happened and how it made you feel, and then replace it with better things.  I’ve had to release some relationships that didn’t serve anymore but when I see those same people nothing moves on the inside of me.  It’s like seeing an ex and they are just a person.  You remember the good and the bad but it doesn’t make it uneasy to be around them because the sting of what they did, said or how they treated you has been released.  You can’t continue to hold onto bitter things.  It won’t yield anything positive in your life.

Any relationship that you cut off will come with peace especially if it’s for the right reasons.  When others feel like they are still stinging you, they will continue in the same pattern.  You can break it with your responses to them.  Some adults ain’t nothing but oversize kids.  Your age and stage in life doesn’t bring maturity.  Maturity is in your growth and how open to change you are.  I know 50 plus women and men still acting childish, still causing confusion like high school girls and guys, still sleeping around from bed to bed, and still ain’t got life figured out.  You have to see past people’s tactics.

Letting it go doesn’t benefit the other party.  It’s cleanses you.  It makes you whole.  It gives you peace.  Do you know of the many people who are dead and in shallow graves still got hold on folks that are alive today?  You still mad at someone from 20 years ago, how does that serve you?  How does that anger help make you better?  Don’t wonder why you still stuck in the same circle.  You know why.  It’s called not letting go.  It’s called un-forgiveness.

Let me end this nugget on forgiveness.  Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to entertain people or take the relationship back to the same place before the offense.  Some people think that if you don’t break bread with them or hang out with them, call them etc. you don’t forgive.  Your attendance to my life doesn’t mean anything.  People need that to feel like things are okay.  If you have said what needed to be said and you and another person have made peace but don’t interact it is well.  People can’t expect to do wrong and get a front seat in the arena of your life.  No you can love folks from afar.  That means you do not wish them negativity.  I refuse to allow folks a continued seat in my life knowing they are Judas.  Judas in Jesus day was necessary for us to know that if we had someone betray us we could handle it.  However the other lesson is that once Judas is found out in your life its okay to wish Judas well from the other side of the tracks but not invite Judas over for coffee.  You don’t have to mend relationships back to where they are made.

Another example, if you drop a cup but put it back together with glue, it works but it will never look like the orignal cup before the fall.  It may still be useful in allowing one to drink from it, but it won’t have the same value as it did.  Some relationships are like broken cups.  They are useful to an extent but the value of the relationship may not be the same.  You can move on, close doors, and leave peace with others.  Leaving them with peace is a lot better than leaving them in pieces.  I know I have moments where the latter was definitely an option or at least that’s how I felt in the moment.

Since we all have been hurt let me give you some reminders.  We all have been on both sides of hurt.  We have been the ones that have been hurt as well as hurt others.  Let’s remember a few things:

  1. Remember your words are life and death literally. You can speak things on and into folks that literally can change them for the better or spiral them into an out of control state. Be careful of what you say.
  2. If you are the offender, be honest about what you said or did.  For example, don’t do half apologies when you are wrong. Accept what you did and make it right.
  3. Stop trying to force relationships.  People can be seasonal and its okay.
  4. Family is not a reason to accept disrespect.  I get Ask Toi questions all the time the title that someone has is not an open invitation for foolishness.  You can respect someone’s title/place from a far.
  5. Walk in your age.  If you want respected for your age such as an elder, act like one. Yes I took it there but its true.  There are a slew of young folks that have been hurt by elders.  As a mom even with my own little people I apologize quickly. I know how it feels to be hurt by elders.  Age means nothing when you hurt others.  You just show you are an old fool.  You can do anything with tact and understanding and when you have been in situations where you have shown less than that make it right.  My great grandmother who passed away recently was 95 years young.  We gave her respect not just because she was an elder but she actually treated people well.  Others want the same but they lack tact in how they treat others.  No one will rise up and call you blessed just because.  You have to give respect in order to receive it and that’s across the board.

If there is an area you could use some help in letting go.  Work on it.  Talk to someone who can rightfully divide truth to you.  I have been in things where I was right in what I said but wrong in how it was delivered.  Be willing to take what someone said even if its said in anger and align yourself to be better.  Just cause someone called you something you didn’t like if it was true, say ouch and make it right.  Then you can deal with the delivery of the other person.  Life is shorter and shorter these days.  You need to let it go even if you have no desire to continue relationships like you once did.  You have that right to leave them with peace and move on.

Oh final piece, when you forgive remember you will hear others bring you stories and things that were said. I got a call just last week on someone from a source I barely speak to. Isn’t that how it works?  You been minding your business than bam, someone say, girl you know what so and so said about you?  My response was simple.  I said well thanks I’m sure there will be more lies before its all over.  I could have defended myself, but who was I proving myself to?  To the one who spoke ill of me, they won’t care they started the lies. Surely me saying, I didnt, it wasn’t me, wasn’t going to make me and the person come together and ride off into the sunset of love.  I knew not to even entertain it because the same person that brought it to me will take something back and at 35 who has time for the back and forth?  I don’t, too much live to life.  Let it go!