We’ve all been there. We’ve gone home for the holidays hoping for peace, joy and fun. Well, some people just hope for peace. You know who you are. It can be painful to go home and back into a situation where you are treated like a child or having to accept disrespectful behavior, like cursing, aggressiveness and control because that’s the norm in your family of origin. So what should you do? Read on for three important tips on how to make the most of your reunion.

First, take a look at the reason you are going home for the holidays.

Is it because you feel obligated?
Is it what you’ve always done?
Are you afraid to hurt someone’s feelings?

If you are going home because you love your family and want to express and receive their love-then go for it and make that your top priority. This is actually the number 1 tip. Set your intention to stay in your loving and in acceptance of yourself and everyone else. Yay for you!

If you feel obligated then go a step deeper. Ask yourself who are you obligated to and why? Do you have an ulterior motive? (Like wanting someone to change). That’s not a high point to begin your trip on. In fact it can set you up for disappointment at the very least or relationship disaster.

What ever you do-do not be a victim. That’s tip #2.

You have a choice no matter whether you’ve made up a story about this or not. You can change your role in your family dynamic any time you want. It takes some work and adjustment from the people in your family who expect you to be and act in a certain way. But it’s worth it!

If you are afraid to hurt someone’s feelings than I implore you to ask yourself whether you care more about someone else than yourself and how that is working for you?

I remember a woman who attended one of my workshops years ago telling me that her brother-in-law was abusive but every year she went home for the holidays and stayed with him and her sister because she felt it would make her sister angry if she didn’t. What? He was abusive to her (and we are talking physically as well as emotionally) and she made the decision up until that point to stay there and put her self in that situation year after year. I call that-self-abuse. The reason she gave me was that it was too expensive to rent a motel room nearby. After just ten minutes we uncovered that she had another choice. She could stay with her aunt. Tip #3: Be honest with yourself because in that honesty you will find the most self-honoring solution. It’s hard to break a pattern but aren’t you worth it?

Being true to yourself is the answer. You owe it to yourself to get real and take actions from that place of self-honor.