Relationship Help for the Holidays

Relationship Help for the Holidays

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cracks allow the love in and out

Its obvious that this new born turtle could not have survived without the crack in the picture perfect shell! Lets use this metaphor to embrace the cracks in the pictures we hold for the holidays. While the holidays have so much promise for relationship dreams fulfilled and hearts at peace, there is the shadow to this that I think most of us have experienced.

If it’s an ordinary day I seem to be able to embrace the ups and downs and the intimacy and distance with those I love. Nothing needs to be perfect. Love can include moments of embrace and moments of disagreements. A not quite perfect conversation with my husband is ok on a regular day. I can trust that we will find our way back to deep connection even if I feel less than fully understood or taken care of. But let that same conversation happen on a holiday when I have a picture of the “perfect everything” and it screams of disaster. We can’t help but have pictures of how the holidays should be. We live in a culture swarming with holiday images of the perfect surprise gift, the perfect family, the perfect smile, and the perfect meal.

I have a suggestion for this year. For Christmas or Hanukah this year give the gift of accepting imperfection. Allow what is to be enough. Sounds new age I know! But really love is big enough to include all of it! The imperfect gift, the family fight, the crooked smile, the burned potatoes can be wrapped in acceptance which allows more love to be experienced. The holiday burden of needing things to be perfect is too rigid to let the love that is there to flow. This includes forgiving and accepting your own imperfections as well as others. (Of course I am writing this to myself.)

So right now pick someone you love and just feel the appreciation you have for the fact that they are in your life. Feel that warm receptive place for them in your heart. Now give yourself this gift: promise that you will invite yourself back to this feeling even in the midst of some crack in the holiday picture of perfection. When the wrong thing is said or the wrong gift is given or you find yourself doing all the dishes while everyone else has left the kitchen. Even if you feel you have blown it by not getting it right, by not having known what to say or what to give. Even if they have disappointed you, or angered you, allow yourself to find the love in the midst of the crack in the picture perfect holiday. Remember what Leonard Cohen said “there is crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” I think of it also as that’s how the love gets in.

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Shana Parker

Couples Coach, Licensed Psychologist, a well loved wife, proud mother, and writer.