For many of us the holiday season can be difficult. For some of us it can be downright dangerous- holidays bring up old wounds, depression, mood issues, and even suicidal tendencies. The holidays can be a struggle to get through- we look online and see examples of the best of the holiday season. No matter who we are (even if we are the people in the pictures) our lives are rarely perfect. This is amplified during times when we are force-fed the idea of perfection, of what a perfect family meal should look like, what presents to get, and what should be done and with whom the day of Christmas.

It has been a long road for many of us to take any sort of personal responsibility for our lives. To consciously work with the patterns that have been handed down to us by parents, by ancestors, by society. But many of us have taken the idea of being accountable too far. We have constructed this idea that we must be responsible for everything in our lives. In fact, the thought is that we create everything in our lives and everything that surrounds us- every event, every person, is a disassociated aspect of ourselves. If we were only to love ourselves, to learn our lessons, to heal our wounds our lives would be wonderful. Every person we meet, every event, everything in our lives would be bliss. And if it isn’t it is our fault.

Can we think for a moment about how narcissistic this is? That the whole world is about us? That the whole world stems from us? That if our lives are not bliss it is somehow our fault?

This thought, like so many in the new-age community, is simply false. It is thought to be understood and then ventured forward from. Because if you remain at this level of thinking you start to think that your friend who was just sexually assaulted was somehow asking the universe for it, that the people who are starving simply have “poverty consciousness” and if we come from a family of narcissists, selfish sorts, have a family member with mental illness, cancer, AIDS, or simply dislike a relative for past behavior or attitude that we have something to heal within our selves.

This may be true. We may need to look at a situation and heal its charge. We can look at family and realize who they are fully- even if they are truly awful people- without any sort of animosity or wounding patterns coming up to heal. We can realize who they are, act appropriately, and move on with our existences. But simply because we heal it doesn’t mean that they will. They may get a bit better, you might not react to them like you once did… all of this certainly happens. But everyone is not an extension of you. Simply because you are whole doesn’t mean everyone else around you is.

So my point of this blog is… IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. I see so many people offering “helpful” advice about dealing with family members on a spiritual level. There is much to be healed at a family level, at a deeper ancestral level as well. But sometimes the most healing thing is to realize fully who a family member or relative is, make your peace with that, let go of emotional charge of the past and any lingering trauma from what they may have done to you, and realize that whatever they do and whoever they are IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

Quite simply, you are responsible for you. You cannot control other people. You cannot maintain personal responsibility for anyone other than yourself. We may learn from trauma, from difficult events, from family members and relatives. But we do not control anything- even many of the events in our own lives. What we can do is take responsibility for healing ourselves, for healing our pasts, and coming to a peaceful, content (and dare I say) blissful present for doing so. We can ensure our own safety, our own boundaries, and our own wholeness. We can love those who love us back, and be more present for those we love. We can be at peace with who we are and our own version of the holidays, whatever they might be.

Whoever you are and wherever you are, I know that seeing all of the illusion of perfection this holiday season can be difficult to take. Take care of yourself, and know that much of what you are seeing is an illusion. It simply is not real. Most of the perfect family photos, trees, presents, and more are being put on display for a reason. Be thankful for what you have and those around you that truly care. Take care of yourself- if there is nobody around you that truly cares you can be the person that cares for you. Get through the season intact, and allow yourself some peace during this time of year.