Comfort and Joy
Comfort and joy - terms associated with Christmas time and a spirit of kindness that fills us with a sense of warmness and connection to humanity. Sadly, it's easy to limit this mindset to once a year and sometimes it seems easier to give this kindness to others than our own family members.
During my years as a therapist, I have often noticed that the solution to many issues discussed in therapy with couples and families can be resolved using the considerations that we give to coworkers, friends, and even strangers. Most work places have unspoken expectations for behavior, such as controlling emotions, showing respect to others, and the use of what might be called common courtesy. We often try to use considerate behavior, like patience, understanding, respect, kindness, gentleness, and thoughtfulness, throughout the day with friends and strangers. Why then, when we get home at the end of the day, is it alright to be impatient, rude, angry, selfish, or thoughtless? Why do we tend to give our best selves to people we may never see again but give the people in our most important relationships the worst part of us? Maybe this is one reason why so many people dread time with family during the holidays.
What if we chose to do something different? What if we decided to be the best versions of ourselves at all times, no matter how hard our day was or how tired we felt? What if we were always the bearers of comfort and joy? I know this would have a dramatic effect on marriages and family relationships. This change could be the first step to altering patterns of hurt, reversing deterioration of relationships, and mending broken hearts. So, this holiday season, my wish for you is comfort and joy that will last the whole year and permeate all of your relationships.