Talking Through Conflict: Communicating with Loved Ones Over the Holidays

Since the election, many of us are sitting with some extremely difficult feelings. For many of us (myself definitely included), the pain and fear of bigotry lies right at the surface. We’re afraid. We’re angry. And the unfolding horror may be the direct result of the way our family members voted.

So how are we supposed to talk to one another? How are we supposed to gather and express our gratitude when that pain is so raw?

I’ve always had a difficult time talking to family members about this pain, but I have made a commitment to myself to not be silent. Now more than ever is the time to talk. But how?

Please note: This reading is meant for people who are able to have conversations with their family members this holiday season. However, many people have legitimate safety reasons not to speak up. If you are afraid for your safety, please take care of yourself.

All cards from the Cosmos: Tarot and Oracle Deck.
All cards from the Cosmos: Tarot and Oracle Deck.

This spread is meant to get to the heart of our conversations, and give us tools to have those difficult conversations and move through conflict. On the right, a message from the past. On the bottom, a message about our inner needs and fortitude, and at the top a message about proactive communication. The card on the right shows the effect of our conversations on our future relationships. In the center, an oracle card.

In the past, we’ve shut down and out of these conversations before we’ve even begun, especially around the holidays. Perceiving the old dynamics as too toxic to make for polite conversation, we’ve shut down. The battle was too large, too overwhelming, and we didn’t even know where to start. We raised the white flag before we even set foot on the battlefield.

What we’ve forgotten is that, at the base of it all, we have power. We don’t have to find our element – we are our element. Before you begin these difficult conversations, seek clarity internally. Center yourself. Visualize what it means to you to speak power to your truth, and be open about your emotions. You may not be able to control how others react to your truth, but you will never know until you speak it. What is it that you need to communicate to feel that your identity matters in this space? What do you need to communicate for others to understand how you’re feeling?

Speak from that inner truth, and ask others to hear you. Listen to their truths.

To stay closer to your truth and conserve your energy for the conversations that matter, stay out of pettiness. Every Thanksgiving table has its baggage – stay above the past so you can communicate what needs to be said now. Don’t engage in clickbait conversations if it will shroud your truth. You know the ones I’m talking about – the conversations that begin with a “well, actually …” or that begin with “this might sound bad, but …” If you have said your piece and someone tries to troll you, you don’t have to go there. You can shut the conversation down. You can set those boundaries. Communicate, but refuse to enter a petty debate.

This will certainly effect your relationships in the future. At the same time that you must let down some of your barriers and be vulnerable in this moment to have these powerful conversations, you will learn things about the person you’re talking to that you can’t unlearn. There’s power in walking away when necessary. It’s likely that the “troll” will come out in people, or that they will lash out with their own insecurities or unwillingness to learn your point of view. If they stoop to that level of pettiness, know that you can walk away and that you’re at a higher vibration.

Here’s where the oracle card comes in: Pluto Reversed tells us that there will be misunderstandings. These conversations don’t end here. You may lose people by speaking your truth – but it’s likely you never had them. It’s better to know where you stand than to guess.

And always know: Your chosen family is here for you.

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