Winter is the season all living beings including homo sapiens tend to mentally go into themselves and basically hibernate. It is a time of reflection and the physical body wants to hold on to all of its resources. Leftover from eons ago, our biological mechanisms conserve energies to get ready, in the spring, for another cycle of re-growth and new beginnings. So how do we handle our relationships within this framework?
One can have all kinds of conflicting feelings about one year ending and a new one beginning, depending on how perceptions of the past events and the future ones may range. I’ve never found “New Year’s resolutions” to be useful, but that may work for some. Today, I want to focus on optimism, that general feeling that what lies ahead looks pretty decent! Yet this feeling is not as simple as it sounds, because how it’s felt emotionally and what is reported verbally may differ.
You know that cliché of the old year (why always a man?) exiting stage left and the new baby year appearing? Well, here we are, counting the days till the end of this year of 2016, great for some, terrible for others, and perhaps so-so for most… Are you going to watch the ball drop at Times Square? Or the fireworks as other countries in differing time zones celebrate?
So you broke up. Or didn’t get the gift you expected. Or an occasion was not remembered. Or a promotion was given to someone else. Or you dropped that glass mug and broke it.
How do you deal with that situation? With anger? Sadness? Disappointment? Frustration? Resentment? These are all emotions that can be generated by such unfortunate events. However, once we get calmer, how do we interpret these happenings in the larger context of life?
As I write this, I know the readers will be seeing it with all the hubbub of Thanksgiving. Our country is going through a difficult time: If you, like me, felt the disappointment of what happened on November 8, you know this was more than just an election who was won by someone you did not support. It was a sense of doom and dread that the progress, the hopes, and the positive outlook that had been generated in the last several years were going to be lost. I think of marriage equality. I think of the changing attitudes towards the LGBTQ community. I think of the advances for climate change, for the environment and in healthcare insurance. And the pit in my stomach feels heavy.
Does that title make you feel all warm and fuzzy, or does it fill you with dread? Either way, why? We have all heard the perennial jokes about Uncle Ed who gets tipsy at every Thanksgiving dinner and starts to hassle everyone about their political beliefs or Aunt Mary who wants everyone to eat five helpings of turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce. Those aside, it seems more common to hear about difficult situations especially involving partners’ parents or families. What to make of this?
Have you ever taken some time to look back and review all of the relationships you have ever had? This is a mental exercise you can do whether you are in, in-between, or out of a relationship. It will give you insight into your own behavior. It may provide ways to improve your present partnership. It may facilitate choosing a compatible mate, and even more importantly, help you in processing the hurts from a past one.
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