Sometimes a few sessions into therapy, clients will ask questions like, “Will I always feel this way?” “How long until therapy feels like it is really working?” or “Why isn’t my husband or wife getting it yet?” Basically they are soliciting the question, “Is there anyway to make this go faster?” My response is usually something along the lines of, "well yeah, if I had the magic solution, I’d be living on a yacht right now making billions." However, in the instant gratification culture we live in today, it’s not surprising that our clients desire some quick, easy fix.
In just about a blink it’s going to be 2018. This last month of the year will fly by. But before it does, let’s take a few minutes to brainstorm how to set some good boundaries and make the most of this holiday season.
The first question to think about is, “What’s the priority this season? What is going to take precedence over everything else?” The reality is that life is always going to be throwing things at us, trying to tell us what is more important. And to be real, when I say life, I also mean people. Friends, family, your crazy Aunt Suzie, the “Jones” next door, social media, etc. are all going to try to tell us what to be invested in.
I was sitting in an ice cream shop with my kids and husband one Saturday afternoon many months ago and a TV was showing the news in a corner of the shop. A few days prior, a 4 year old boy fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, and this was the story on every news channel all weekend long. As we know, he survived the incident, but the gorilla was shot dead to protect the young boy’s life. One of the shop owners was sweeping near the TV and commented to another employee that they "just should have shot the mother instead." My stomach lurched in shock and anger; but, apparently this sentiment had been echoed in comment sections, petitions, and Twitter feeds around the world. What is it, I wondered, that made people feel that the only logical conclusion to this terrible accident was that she was a bad mother?
How much time do we spend creating, maintaining, and increasing our satisfaction with our homes? Whether painting certain colors to create a desired ambiance, cleaning away dust, dirt, and debris, adjusting the decor each season, and managing the landscaping to control overgrowth…caring for our homes is undeniably an ongoing priority. However, how does that amount of time and energy compare to the time and effort we invest into the relationships within our homes?
“My child doesn’t know how to control his anger.”
“I feel terrible that I lost my patience with my little girl.”
“I regret how I reacted during a conflict with my husband.”
I often hear common concerns such as these when working with families. Whether from our crying baby or disrespectful teenager to high levels of work stress or relational conflict, we can all relate to moments when our emotions seem to control us.