Holiday Stress Creates Turkey and Stressing

Too many people experience holiday stress instead of holiday joy and peace. Unfortunately, it happens during a time that could be much better for everyone. Hopefully, gathering for the holidays is a wonderful, warm, and blessed time for most families. But for too many, it is "turkey and stressing" because of so many unresolved family issues.

You can't talk about any issues or problems for fear of creating more stress. Instead of wanting to be together and enjoying each other, you fear getting together.

Turkey and Stressing

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. -- Romans 14:19 

Unresolved Issues

When families get together, all the family history arrives. And, for too many families - maybe yours – that isn’t good. That makes holiday stress part of the package. It's difficult for those families when unresolved problems are the giant "elephant in the room.”

One of the four common relationship mistakes is "you keep the past in the present." That agitates and irritates family members and creates "ME" flashing moments. Family members "walk on eggshells,” afraid they may say the wrong thing and "make someone mad.” Of course, that increases the stress of being together. "Turkey and stressing" anyone?

Be A Catalyst for Good

Relationships work BEST when people resolve issues; they don't let them fester into painful sores. Even if a problem is not resolved from both sides, at least fix it from your side. That means you remove holiday stress for yourself even if the rest of the family doesn't.

But how does that work? You become a catalyst for change. A "catalyst" is a great term; we often teach it in relationships and leadership lessons.

A catalyst is:

An agent that speeds up change and does not get conformed or changed in the process.

Note the two parts of that definition: 1) speeds up change, 2) not conformed or changed.

Jesus is the ultimate catalyst. People changed positively or became sad or mad at Jesus when He was in a situation. But, in no case did the situation ever change Jesus.

Please take a look at His conversations or interactions with people. He is always faithful to His great values and never changes His values or thinking. And think about this: He NEVER made anyone change! He only shared the truth in love and allowed them to choose to change. Just as important, He did NOT pout or get mad when someone ignored what He said.

It Starts With You!

Do you want to be a CATALYST for change in your relationships? Here is the secret! Focus on something other than their change; focus on your actions - your change! Focus on how God wants you to act.

Any stress, especially holiday stress, is built on the foundation of "should, ought, and must"!

  • "They should be acting differently!"
  • "They shouldn't be acting that way!"

That thinking focuses your attention on their behavior rather than yours. Maybe they "should" do things differently, but the REALITY is they aren't right now. How about doing what God says and trusting Him to live through you despite their behavior?

Decide that you will be a REAL person, not wearing a mask nor trying to use the truth as a hammer. Consider the following questions to PREPARE yourself to be a catalyst. Next, you can use the CATALYTIC Conversation approach (see that information here).

"How am I making this (issue, problem) about ME?" Unresolved issues almost always have one or all parties "flashing their ME." The first step to being a Godly catalyst is "pursuing their best."

"Am I willing to trust God or myself?" If you aren't willing to trust God and His ways, then enjoy the pain and stress. God has provided all the answers on how to deal with life and be a godly person (2 Peter 1:3) who 2 Peter 1:3) that pursues the best for those around them.

"Do I need to forgive or confess?" If forgiving, let it go, and pray for blessing and peace upon those who wronged you. Review the seven steps in course 08c (Freedom From Resentments, Bitterness, and Grudges) for more help. When you forgive, you are no longer controlled by their bad behavior - you're free to pursue their best when you get together—no attitudes, snarky remarks, or lousy thinking about them.

If confessing, review the seven steps in (Freedom From Real and False Guilt) for more help. Confess to God, then use the 4 A's approach to confess to them.

  • Agree that what you did was wrong
  • Acknowledge that it hurt them and others
  • Admit regret and repentance
  • Announce your plan never to do it again

When you decide to be a catalyst and share the truth, it may not make the situation better or make them happy. But this is not about making you or others better or happy; it is about doing what is best for others. When you are doing that, you are a catalyst to relieve holiday stress.

Jesus did not make the rich young ruler happy, but He shared the truth to allow him to choose what was BEST.

Now that you have decided to be a catalyst, use the CATALYTIC Conversation approach.

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