Yes, the season of red hearts and chocolates galore has mercifully come and gone.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m the first lady in line to receive all loving expressions from my significant other. It’s just that when burnt-out adult children are expected by society to fawn all over difficult aging parents, I cease to be a fan of February 14th.
Did you struggle while staring for hours at the obligatory card stand? I know I used to.
Because Valentine’s Day is just the first in a string of annual retail extravaganzas, how will you honor your integrity while tendering acknowledgement at upcoming “occasions”? It’s not an easy balance to strike but here are three ideas.
1. Open Your Heart
The Institute of Heart Math has established the heart’s electro-magnetic field is five thousand times stronger than the brain’s. As science examines the human body with ever-greater technology, we come to understand what ancients like Buddha knew: “The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.” By expanding our own heart intelligence, we invite others to do the same. Is it possible your heart-energy can impact your elders – for better or worse?
2. Locate an Attitude of Gratitude
If you ask me the number ONE practice that facilitates my daily emotional balance it would be keeping a Gratitude Journal. I’ve done so for close to 20 years. As my ultra-stubborn father declined I shared with him – more than once – what I was grateful for in 54 years together. Imagine this was not easy as an only child having suffered his alcoholism. Are you able to find one genuine source of parental thankfulness?
3. Speak Only Your Truth
Now, before you conclude I’m going all mushy on you, far be it! Shakespeare absolutely had it right: “This above all: to thine own self be true… Thou canst not then be false to any man.” If you’re coping with impossible folks, it’s not authentic to pick the gushiest greeting on the rack, is it? My successful approach involved kind well wishes to make their day but nothing more. Could this work for you?
What’s In It for Me? (WIIFM)
Before we get into benefits, I need to exempt a whole group of you out there. You’re the ones who long ago divorced your parents due to lethal abuse – even if they’re still alive. I would hardly condone the maltreatment you’ve endured.
For the rest of us (that includes me with emotional/mental hardships endured), I’m wondering if we can stretch to at least consider extending some love into our elder worlds.
Let’s return to gratitude. Those who consciously focus on this potent feeling experience greater emotional well-being (i.e., happiness), better relationships and improved physical health than those who don’t. How much would that be worth to you?
If all else fails, how about purchasing a copy of my Pissed-Off Journal at http://www.carolannhamilton.com/books/the-pissed-off-journal/ I’ll be happy to schedule a training session with you on how to use it!