Advice for struggling lovers and parents at Christmas…

Thinking of ending a relationship or giving someone a long-overdue piece of your mind?  Want to throttle someone? Do you feel like a failure as a parent, or a partner? Thinking negative things about people you’re supposed to love? Breathe in.  Count to ten.  Exhale.  Repeat until calm.  Bad thoughts don’t make you a bad person.  Let’s re-examine things.

Christmas is a hard time for many; even when we love the idea of Christmas, even when there are things that we enjoy. Part of the problem is our expectation – that somehow peace on Earth and goodwill towards mankind will suddenly translate into family harmony. There is nothing like Christmas to bring us up close to the things we’ve ignored or put on the back burner throughout the year.  Plus we run out of days to make this year the year we promised ourselves it would be. The weight of all of that pressing down on us creates enormous stress.

2012 is breathing down our necks, already making her energies felt, calling us to pay attention, to live in awareness, making us edgy with these feelings of shift and change.

Add something else into the mix – exhaustion. Most people I know have hurtled through 2011, living on adrenalin and rush, rush, rush. Top that off with the madness that is Christmas and you have a recipe for self-doubt, self-criticism and lowered tolerance to the button pushers of life.

Have you ever seen an over-tired, hyped-up-on-sugar, edgy and over-stimulated toddler make a rational decision?  What happens if you get a bunch of them in the same room?  You get the picture.  Maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem.

No one talks about this stuff, but my 97 year old Nana has given me a heads up, and I’ve seen her information validated by years of having people confide their darkest thoughts, their deepest shames, and their secret fears. The following are things I’ve found to be true, and I hope that it gives you some comfort:

Parent Guilt: Every parent, at times, will resent their children or not like them, wish they’d never been born, or even have moments of pure blinding rage or hatred (though this is rarely expressed or acted upon).  Every parent will at times think about walking out. That is normal and human.  It will pass in the presence of love. Most parents fear they are not doing a good job, even when they are. So ease up on yourself. Be kind to yourself. Take some time out. Do what you can to get back to a place of calm and balance. Remind yourself that this will pass.

Partner Guilt: Every spouse (or person in a significant relationship), will have moments of resenting their partner, or not like them, or even have moments of pure blinding rage or hatred (though this is rarely expressed or acted upon).  Every spouse/partner will at times think about walking out or wish they’d chosen a different person. That is normal and human.  It will pass in the presence of love. It’s okay to take a break, to catch your breath, to feel mad or sad or any of those other things. Get some sleep, take care of your own needs, talk about what’s bothering you when you’re back in a place of calm. Love endures, and it endures all things, all seasons.

Soul mate relationships are like the formation of pearls. When a pearl is formed a tiny grain of sand gets into an oyster and irritates the hell out of it, until finally that grain of sand is transformed into a beautiful pearl. In the presence of love, irritations between you and your partner will help you both grow, and they’ll be smoothed out in the presence of love, until you have something of lasting beauty and value. Trust in love. It is a magical balm for all manner of ills.

How can you tell if it’s really over?  Sometimes you find that there’s nothing left.  No angry feelings or resentment, just a recognition that what was there has gone. That there is no longer enough common ground and connection, even if there is still some love. In that place of differences, pull back and re-evaluate. Get some rest, and some time out.  When we’re exhausted everything feels like hard work, and the emptiness we feel in our relationship might actually be the zombiness of burnout. Time on your own (even just a walk in the park) will help you sort things out, one way or the other. Rest gives energy, and energy renews relationships. Worries fade, and we can work with what we have to create something better between us. Sometimes it’s not broken, it’s just over. That’s okay too. Love and let go.

If the love vanishes, or fades away, and the moments of resentment get bigger, the not liking stronger, the blinding rage a regular visitor, pay attention to those red flags. Your heart is doing its best to get your attention, and let you know that this is no longer a healthy place to be.

Over time the anger and resentment can be replaced with something worse.  Indifference.  Indifference lets you stay in that place of no love, but it steals your Soul to do it. It damages everything and everyone around you as you tell yourself you are being dutiful, as you act from automatic pilot or that place of remoteness.  It ruins you for yourself, and steals your capacity for joy. In that place, in the absence of love, leave.  In relationships there needs to be love on both sides. Love on its own against indifference is a recipe for martyrdom.

The best gift you can give yourself and others this Christmas is kindness.  Christmas is not a time for hasty decisions.  But it can be a wonderful catalyst for awareness and change.  Be kind and compassionate with yourself. Make time to sit honestly with what is.  Take time to get to reconnect with your heart.

Be kind and compassionate with others.  Know that at times your buttons will be pressed this Season. That’s normal, and it will pass in the presence of Love.  Do your best to stay calm, to get some time for yourself, and to do things that make you happy.  Say no when you need to say no. If you are at a place of exhaustion and burnout, rest.  Plan changes for the year ahead so that you can heal and recover your energy and joy for life.

2012 is a year for aligning ourselves with our true nature and purpose. A good night’s sleep, some connection into fun and laughter and time with people we love will help us to make the most of the energy shifts ahead.

Sending you Love, Light and Energy. Wishing you Peace in your heart. ♥

 

 

(I can’t find the source for this pic, but I credit its maker, with thanks ♥)

5 thoughts on “Advice for struggling lovers and parents at Christmas…

    • Yes – letting go can be so difficult – whatever the reason. But letting go leaves both of us open to better possibilities and a chance at happiness. Thanks for dropping by. Hope to see you here again. Enjoyed checking out your blog too 🙂

      • Thanks. It’s hard to find the balance between honesty and sharing in love instead of in anger. Having a blog is a good way for us to be blunt without bringing in friends/family when it is not their “thing” to deal with.

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