• Stacia

The Holiday DNA Obligation

This is your reminder, your sign, your nudge in the direction - whatever you want to call it, this is it - that just because you share some DNA with people, you are under no obligation - I mean none - to spend time with them because it is a holiday. DNA + Holiday does not equal spending time.

It took me a long time to realize, and embrace, this. Last Christmas, I sat in my car ugly crying hot, angry tears yelling ugly, angry words that my Dad probably did not want to hear come out of my mouth even though I am well into my twenties. I had some unresolved, unchecked, and un-forgiven anger towards members of my family and it all came exploding out of me. Why was I spending precious time with these people I wanted nothing to do with? Why was I letting the fact that we shared some DNA with these people determine that I would spend what limited holiday time I had with them? I was mad. I was angry. I was hurt. I was frustrated. And frankly, I wanted to be anywhere but there.

So this past year, I've started the long process of working through all of those unaddressed feelings I had last year. I am no where near done, and it could be years before I am, but that's okay. It's a slow process. It takes time. And I'm okay with that. But, in this process, I've decided that I am going to be selective about who I spend time with on the holiday. I'm going to make sure that the people I am with are those who uplift me, make me better, and encourage me. Sharing DNA does not make the worthy of an automatic holiday or a free pass of accountability.

This holiday, I encourage you to 1. recognize any unaddressed feelings you may have towards your family so that you can begin to work through them, and 2. allow yourself the space to work through those feelings - even if it means not attending the holiday functions you are *always* at because it's "expected" of you. You're twentysomething years old; start making your own decisions.


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