Thoughts to feel love for family

Dear Brooke,

My mother and my three siblings and their families are coming to my new small mountain home this February for our annual “Christmas in February”. I don’t usually host this event and it has never before been attended by EVERYONE. This year? Everyone. I’m finding this an excellent opportunity for learning about my thinking and practicing many, many models.

In doing a model about my uber conservative Marine/cop brother, I got stuck. Here are my models:

C – My brother will be here

T – He will try to boss me and shame me in my home.

F – fear

A – worry and perseverate about it, subconsciously provoke him to prove myself right.

R – He will shame me in my own home.

I know my feelings are caused by my thoughts, but this is how the model came out. I just put him being here in the C line, but I notice I am envisioning my last breakfast with him and my mom during my visit. He seemed so angry at my mom and was being so rude to her. (I do not have a clear sentence of what he did or said to use that in a C line, though.) I jumped in to “coach” him telling him ALL his actions were caused by his emotions. You can imagine how that went. So, I’m seeing that I provoked him. It all makes me feel like a spider in a frying pan, scrabbling desperately for a way off this hot surface.

At first I decided I wanted to feel compassion for his messed-up self, but saw that is a tad judgemental. So, I decided I just want to feel love. I do love him, but am having trouble finding the thought that brings me there and that I can practice for those special moments when I need it. Apparently, I just want to feel sorry for him, making me the magnanimous one. Thankfully, I will be at the Self-Coaching MasterClass the week before my family arrives. Boom.

Here’s the intentional model:

C – My brother will be here.

T – He’s doing his life to the best of his ability, just like I am.

F – Compassion

A – Consider his thoughts, see how he might get where he gets

R – I am doing my life


C – My brother is here.

T – ???? I love him?

F – love

A – lovingly listen to him. Respond with curiosity. Keep it about him, not me.

R – Feel love for him.