Dysfunctional Family & The Holiday Blues =(

The picture above courtesy of pexels

With Thanksgiving coming up next week, I thought I’d talk about family. The holidays are supposed to be the times in which we get together with family and laugh, talk, remanence, give thanks and most of EAT! But sometimes that’s not always easy, especially if you have dysfunctional family members or a MEMBER! which could make those holiday gatherings very uncomfortable.

There’s a quote that says, “Families are like fudge, mostly sweet with lots of nuts.” Does that sound like your family? Because let’s face it, we all have a family member or relatives who seem to have come from another planet than we did.

While we may all wish we can send them back for a replacement, they are still part of our family and despite the ups and downs that surround them, we have to deal with them and love them the same. I used to think that everyone had a good family except for me because we seemed to fight all the time and just when you thought everybody was getting along, something would come up out of nowhere.

It could be from something my mom said, my dad did, my sister thought or how I reacted, and the next thing we know, no one would pick up a phone for months on end.
As I got older, I realized that even the biggest families had issues and no family is perfect by any means and while my family was distant, there were other families who didn’t come together at all or allowed hatred to circle through them and build a fire that never ended.

We can’t save the world or help every dysfunctional family but listed below are a few tips to maybe keep the line of communication open with our estranged relatives before, during and after the holidays.

#1. Communicate regularly.

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This may be very hard for some families because most of them have built up so many issues and have held onto so much hurt, that it’ll take several counseling sessions to get those layers pulled completely away. But I’ve found that most family situations can be solved if we can learn to talk to each other before a situation escalates out of control.

*At least you try to talk it out, even if they don’t want too*

Do your part, because at the end of the day, what YOU DID really will matter. If they choose not to conform, then you did your part – pray for them and move on. Hopefully, they’ll come around when they’re ready.

#2. Seek counseling from a family therapist.

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If regular communication does not succeed, then counseling is the next step. Some dysfunctional family issues may have nothing to do with you per se, but it could have something to do with what an older family member did.

Issues could’ve already been in place prior to your birth, in which the family never settled among themselves, which caused division with other family members. Counseling helps to get us past the “Then” to help us be better for the “Now” and future family generations to come.

#3. Back off but not completely.

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Most families feel that most fiery problems will resolve themselves by staying away, in most cases, this only makes matters worse and hatred increase. While situations may become too strong to handle and you may have to back off just to protect yourself, don’t allow it to stay that way.

Don’t let weeks, months, or even years keep you from being connected to your family unless you have been totally pushed away and in that case – it’s not your fault or problem but the individuals who closed the door without making amends.

#4. Forgiveness is key.

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When you’ve made every attempt to bring about reconciliation, but find that there’s no effort on their part, then you have to forgive them and move on.
Forgiveness doesn’t excuse the behavior that dysfunction brings, but it allows us to learn from what happened and to let it go (in which is a process all by itself)

Remember, it’s not about what they did, what they said or what they haven’t done; it’s about what you do. Forgiveness is your pass to have peace for yourself not them.
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We cannot change our families, because we’re stuck with them forever. No matter what we think or how we feel about them, they are a part of us, and we are apart of them.
But you’ll find out that family no matter how dysfunctional it may be, is a really great addition to your life. It’s something that everyone dreams of having – even if it can’t be with their “natural” ones.

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Okay, so BIG announcement. My next post will be on next Wednesday and will be my last post for the year. I know, I know – don’t cry……haha (I’m sure you’re not) Anywho, I’ll not only be taking a break from blogging but also social media as well. After next week, I won’t be posting anything until after the beginning of the year. 

What will my last post be about??? You’ll have to see next week – hint, hint: it’s going to be light and informative (the fun informative =)

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See Ya Next Week Friends!!animation (5)

 

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8 Free Gifts You Can Give To Anyone, Anytime of the Year.

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As the Christmas season heavily gets underway, and while we all rush to get that awesome gift for the special people in our lives, I wanted to share a few gifts that we all should remember to give each day of the year. These gifts are all free and won’t cost you a dime out of pocket. The only thing these gifts require is a heart.

So, just in case you don’t have the money to spread a lot of Christmas cheer. I’m sure these next 8 gifts will fit the bill for their cost is far more precious than anything you can buy out of a store, as a matter of fact their all PRICELESS!

Check below and see which one you would like to give to someone this month, next month or years to come for all of these gifts can be used every single day.

 

 

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#1. THE GIFT OF LISTENING:
But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response, just listening.

 #2. THE GIFT OF AFFECTION:
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family,friends, spouses or etc.

 #3. THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER . . .
Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.” Laughter is the best medicine, it heals in ways you can only imagine.

#4. THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE:
It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life. While buying a card is nice, actually making one or writing a note is better. It let’s the person know that you actually took out time to care.

#5. THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT:  A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day. The smallest of words hold the most value. 

#6. THE GIFT OF A FAVOR:
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind for someone else outside of yourself.

#7. THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE:
There are times when we want nothing better, than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

#8. THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION:
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it’s not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You or How are you doing today?, sometimes people just need a smile or happy face to let them know, it’s going to be okay.

Well that’s it, sometimes the smallest things/gestures are the ones that are never forgotten, people will lose a gift or even forget what was given to them but making someone’s day; is a feeling that will last a lifetime……Because (see below)

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Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Inspire More & Love Harder!

How To Get Through Loss During The Holidays…

photo credit above courtesy of bing

I used to feel really sad for people whom went through the holidays without a loved one or someone to spend the holidays with because let’s face it, who really wants to be alone when the holidays roll around – no one. (I don’t care what they say..) but I always said a special prayer for people who lost a loved one, whether husband, wife, child, friend, pet – it didn’t matter, I prayed for them. At the time I had no clue as to what they were actually feeling but I tried to place my feet in their shoes for just a moment to imagine the pain they must’ve been feeling, although I never had….at least until last year.

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I mentioned briefly in this past Sunday’s Thought message of the difficult circumstances concerning my mom and what happened. I lost her five days after Thanksgiving and we funeralized her the first week of December, so needless to say Christmas went straight down the drain last year, it was also the first time since starting this blog that I didn’t write anything that whole month. Once January 2017 rolled in, I knew that it would be a really tough year – the only thing I kept thinking as each day and month passed by was the fact that “This time last year, mama was here.” which honestly has played in mind up until recently, when I could actually say, “This time last year, mama wasn’t here” – When January 2018 comes in, that will pretty much be a fresh start for me, the beginning of truly leaving the year behind and all the pain it held in it. It’ll also be a year in which, I can finally let mama go and begin to move forward and live my life as she would have wanted me too.

While the holidays bring their own type of vibe and it may be a little hard to celebrate the season because you’ve suffered a loss, rest assured that even though your special loved one isn’t here, doesn’t mean that you have to exclude them or yourself from still having a special holiday. Listed below are a couple of tips that I’ve learned and have done since loosing my mom and maybe they’ll help you or even a friend whom may be experiencing the “blues” this season due to a special loss.

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1. Talk About It, Get It Out of Your System…

Keeping my feelings to myself in regards to my mom dying suddenly would have been a train wreck had I not had a good support group. If you don’t have one, then talk to someone in whom you trust such as a pastor, good neighbor, co-worker or counselor. Trust me, keeping your emotions locked up only breeds fire – you have to get it out, so you can begin the process of moving forward and having a peace of mind in regards to the loss.

2. Keep the Traditions Alive!

My mom was a game player, she loved coming up with unique games in which people could win prizes. Now, don’t get me wrong; my mom didn’t make a lot of money, in fact she only received a disability check once a month but you wouldn’t have known that with the gifts she gave out. Every year for Christmas we pulled names as a family to exchange gifts and mama would invite people over for a unique Christmas game (I never knew how she could come up with such thoughtful games) afterwards, she would award the winner and the losers as well with some amazing gifts. She always made people feel good, no matter where she went and she always had some little trinket to give them, to make their day a little brighter. It’s good to keep memories/traditions alive when you lose a loved one, we’re so quick to want to forget everything once their gone, but we have to realize when we keep their memory open, their spirit will always be alive.

3. Time really does HEAL…

I can and will say that it will take time for you to heal, and you do that as often and as much as you need to, don’t let anyone define to you when you need to let go or stop crying…you do what you need to do to deal with your loss. Remember all the good times because those are the memories that are going to get you thru your toughest days and with the holidays now here, this time of year makes those tough days harder. Remember, healing also occurs when you surround yourself with positive, caring people. I’m still healing every single day.

4. Get Involved In Activities…

There’s a scripture in the bible that says, “An idle mind is the devils workshop” and boy that scripture couldn’t be further from the truth, the enemy works and toils with our emotions and when we’re down, feeling blue or even sad – he pounces on those emotions, his goal is to take you deeper into a “blue” place, so deep until it’s hard for your to come up to breathe. Find something that you like doing that will help take your mind off of your current situation, focusing on other things does not mean that you’re forgetting about your loved one. It’s just you letting your brain and body know that you have to keep them sharp and moving forward. You’ll have your moments and that’s totally okay, but when that moment is happening every day? It’s time to get up and find a hobby or get involved in a charity….maybe even one your loved one preferred. Just don’t sit and let yourself go because at the end of the day, “Would your loved one really want you to do that?”

5. Signs and Wonders…

I was in the break room at work a little shy over a month ago eating lunch, I always sit at the table in which has a window by it, once you sit down at it; the only thing you can see are the clouds. Suddenly, I thought to myself – “I wonder if my mom know how much, I loved her?” and no joke, it seemed like as soon as I said that my head immediately turned to look at the sky and I promise you – there was a heart shaped cloud there. I was sooooo amazed that I hurried and tried to get my camera up on my phone but when I looked back up, it had faded away. I know that sounds crazy, but I wanted to share that to let you know that even though our loved ones may be gone from this side, their on the other side watching over us and if you look around closely, you just may see little signs of them still wondering around, letting you know that they’re okay. So, be encouraged!

I hope this post was a little help and offer some comfort as you go on through Christmas and the rest of this month. God bless you and know that I am praying for you and while you’re on your knees, please say a little prayer for me too.

 

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Carolyn Blackmon-Greene 10/22/1961 – 11/29/2016

You’re forever in my heart Mama!

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Inspire More & Love Harder!