Winter vulnerability and our family stories

Healing yourself, loving the world

Holiday family insights

For some of us, it’s relatively easy to appreciate our families, our traditions, our unique family personalities, and family strengths during the holiday season. For others of us, it’s harder as we notice the disconnects, the dysfunction, and the struggles.  Holidays bring an intensity to our family story as we gather to celebrate our winter holidays with a focus on gratitude and community and a hidden focus on survival.   This intensity can bring us some insights into our bigger family patterns.

Winter energy

Winter is a powerful reminder of our physical vulnerabilities and the need we have for a community to survive.  I have found merely naming this hidden drive for survival and our biological need for others can release some of the holiday pressure.   As we honor the past struggles and physical situations during winter, we can appreciate what we have today for ourselves.

Family stories

As the holidays put a focus on families, we might find ourselves noticing what we like and don’t like about ours.  Regardless of how you see your family, I invite you to lovingly and compassionately consider the questions that follow.  What looks like one person’s dysfunction becomes more meaningful when considered in the long history of our family.   We are always trying to bring balance past hurts and seen from the big picture, we can honor our ancestral stories.

Holding your great-grandparents, your grandparents, your parents, and yourself in mind:

  • I value in myself these family traits of:
  • I see with compassion this family struggle of:
  • I value myself for changing this family story of:

If you want to go deeper, you can look at the people and behavior that triggers you and do some tapping.

Here’s to taking the long view with compassion and kindness for the changing stories of our families and their genetic survival.


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Deborah Donndelinger

Deborah Donndelinger

I'm writing from Maryland, but my heart goes out all over the world. I'm cheering you on as you tackle the hard stuff, embrace the easy, and show up to help others.