Christmas can be a time of strained relationships for a variety of different reasons. Read on for how to deal with this strain and for how to improve those relationships to make a fresh start for the New Year.
Growing up. Wow, what does this mean? How do we know when we are there? We tell our children to ‘grow up’ when they do something we consider isn’t correct. We’ve all heard the saying, ‘We come out of the womb perfect and then get moulded to what others think we need to be’. We are fully influenced by everyone around us, those who raise us, teach us and those who we work with. We meet our partner, fall in love, get married or live together and life changes. So, how do we grow within our relationship? Or, do we stay the same, unchanged with the same thinking we had at 21, 29, 37 – whenever we started the relationship? How do we know when to ‘grow up’. What does growing up really mean?
Life is a journey. Life is doing our best with what we have. Life is like a book – each chapter is different. The chapters maybe children, working, building a house, buying a business, starting a business, the death of a child/partner or moving countries. Life is life – full of fun, laughter, challenge, sadness, struggle, joy and change. How we choose to show up in our relationship will support our enjoyment level for our life. This might seem simple and easy, however many of us have difficulty in this area. We have perceived ideas of what ‘society says we should have or be like’. There are no rules around how we live our life. Everything we do is our choice and a choice we make with our partner.
Sometimes the turkeys will get us down. The ‘turkeys’ could be work, relationships, children, challenges or finances. The secret to a joyful and happy life is communication and observation. When we are fully aware of what is happening, we are in a more able and better place to change things. When we make a decision to play below the line where we blame others, deny there is a problem or we make excuses for our actions, we make ourselves sick. Yes, every single cell in our body will take this onboard. Our cells will fully own what we are thinking, saying and feeling. It’s not possible for them to be doing anything different. We get sicker and sicker. It may come out as tiredness, low energy, anger, frustration, loud conversations, unloving conversations, blaming discussions or no conversation. Our bodies get closer and closer to dis-ease. If we feel this is happening, we are able to stop ourselves. Ask questions to highlight exactly where we are, what we are feeling and what our options are. It is our choice to be good or bad, happy or sad, communicative or shutdown. It’s our choice.
Christmas is upon us and the entering of a new year. Many people get concerned at this time due to deadlines, financial stresses and communication issues within relationships. Relationship issues at Christmas will be stretched to include parents, siblings and friendships. It’s all the same. Our choice as to how we show up is critical to the success of the relationship. Taking ownership of our feelings, thoughts and actions is key to being top of our game and happy. If we continue with the old pattern, nothing will change. Doing the same old thing over and over is actually a sign of insanity.
In choosing to be different, shift happens. Knowing how we want a relationship to be is key. Once we know, we start showing up differently. What we put out we get back – life is a mirror. Communicate frustration, confusion and anger, and it will come back. Give love and we will receive love. It is simple.
Tips on improving relationships
- Know how our relationship is today. Could it improve a little or a lot? What could some improvement options be?
- Be the EAR – hold the space for our partner to be heard. When we feel we are heard, change happens.
- Be honest about being sad, doubtful, confused, anxious etc.
- Allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Use ‘I’ statements. I feel…, I am…,
- Include, I am here to support you, I want you to know how I feel. I love you. Together we can do this.
- Ask questions. Make the time, create the space and have conversations.
A true relationship is someone who accepts your past, supports your present, loves you and encourages your future. When we choose to take responsibly our relationships evolve. It becomes an equal relationship, a supportive and loving relationship. Be in the moment, be fully present and make the best decisions for our future. Evolving is growth.
“Honest hearts produce honest actions.”
– Brighham Young