“Ask Dorothy” – How Can I Gracefully Bow Out Of Spending The Holidays With My Family?
Q: Dear Dorothy, my name is Andrea and I am from Kansas. The holidays are approaching and since my mother’s death 3 years ago, I have become more and more distanced from my sisters and my brother. I have done a lot of work on myself and I don’t want to be rude but it is as if my family does not know me at all and I have had to force myself to celebrate birthdays and holidays with them. No matter how hard I try, these gatherings are extremely uncomfortable and I am miserable for weeks before and after we get together. They treat me poorly and talk down to me. I am angry with them and this doesn’t feel good. How can I gracefully bow out of these events?
A: Andrea, after my many near death experiences, I have come to the understanding that we choose our families for the gifts they bring into our lives. Possibly the gift here is for you to love yourself enough to disengage from these family gatherings, since it is painful for you to attend these events. There is nothing wrong with making a better choice for yourself. You can simply opt out by sending a note to all concerned saying you need some time alone to sort out your future. More than likely, they may not understand. However, what is more important than them understanding, is for you to make the best choice possible for you. It would be an excellent idea for you to forgive them for not knowing who you are. Forgiveness is really for you and not them. The Buddha once said that Anger is like picking up a burning stone and throwing it at someone. You may hit them or you might not. However, you will burn yourself in the process. You can forgive them by writing a letter to them from your higher self to their higher selves. This can then be read by you to them and doesn’t have to be sent.
I believe it is time for you to find your soul family and I know there are people out there who you will enjoy socializing with. You can find your soul family by thanking the Universe each morning and evening for showing you the people you have come to interact with. I began this process years ago and my closest friends today appeared from out of nowhere and I am now surrounded, interacting with and being appreciated by my soul family members. I wish the same for you.
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Image Credit: Thanks to K Whiteford at http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=103650