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For today’s edition, we have on the menu some hard to swallow Christmas experiences, an evaluation plan for the past year and goals for the next, more of the therapist version (vs. the office version), and a no sugar greeting card.
Just like the rest of the time, holidays mix emotions and contradictory thoughts. On the one hand, we need to be together, relax, share, hope, love, and forgive. On the other hand, in every relationship, there’s a history, unfulfilled expectations, misunderstandings, obligations, regrets, and places where we are stuck.
If we allowed ourselves more honesty about what we experience and how we actually feel, we’d notice there’s quite a distance between the Christmas on screens or in shop windows and the real experience. In case you resonate with something on this list maybe by next time you’ll be able to make a change for the better in that direction.
“Poisoned” gifts that actually create an obligation or should cover a bunch of problems.
You’ve made your own gift, but you have to smile nicely and pretend to be surprised.
You received something meaningless from someone who is supposed to love and know you.
We talk but never about what actually matters, about what we truly feel, even though we see each other once in a blue moon.
That someone who makes you feel again like not enough.
You can’t skip meeting someone because “that’s how it’s done,” even though you’re fed up and have only two days off.
You’re not accepted as you are, again.
You have to put up with all sorts of racist, misogynistic, chauvinistic talk just to keep in safe and save appearances.
Husband/dad/uncle, etc., gets drunk again and spoils everyone’s mood, and we all have to pretend it’s okay, even though we all know it’s not.
Comments about how much you eat or don’t eat and how you look.
Again, questions about when you’ll have kids/get married/get a serious job/get yourself a house.
Everyone eats/drinks too much even though everyone knows it’s not good.
Mom and dad argue again.
You argue with one of them again.
Children are beyond good and evil: overdose of screens, sweets, gifts, and boredom.
You’d like to go to bed, but it’s impossible because your house is full of guests, and the kitchen is full of dirty dishes.
With a little luck, you can think it’s an Emir Kusturica movie, and then it’s fun.
Everyone is making assessments and lists for the next year (including me). Usually, everyone forgets about them by March (including me). In summer, you vaguely remember them, but now it’s too late, and in December, you wonder where the time went… (at least that’s what I do).
I’m sharing with you how I’m going to approach things this year. If it seems relevant to you, test the same questions.
Life aspects I want to evaluate:
Questions to ask:
Where am I now?
Where do I want to be next year?
What’s the long-term vision for each life aspect?
What hasn’t been working for a long time, and what could be the reason?
I found this list in a book, and I think it’s excellent. Over my years of therapy, I’ve been through all of these questions, but it’s still relevant for me. I recommend keeping these questions as a reference point.
What do I need to do to find the happiness I’ve always wanted?
Will I feel loved as I’ve always wanted to feel?
What do I need to let go of the past?
Will I ever learn to protect my boundaries, insist that others respect them, and respect theirs too?
Will I ever let go of the need to control?
Will I ever dare to love with all my heart?
See you on January 8, 2024, with issue #2 of the newsletter.
Until then, have the courage to embrace reality!
All the best,
PS: Miracles are things that happen without our effort and beyond our power. There is no miracle where something is within our power, no matter how much someone wants to sell it. Miracles are not bought. Sometimes they just happen.
PPS: Gifts are something we desire, something we need, and for which we should normally work or pay. A gift gives us the luxury of having something just because we are, just because someone loves us, regardless of what or how much we can do.