One of the hallmarks of a good marriage (Wallerstein & Blakeslee, 1995) is that partners celebrate each other’s victories. But, you probably already knew that. Something you may not know is that in a good marriage partners also keep in mind each other’s vulnerabilities. They are aware of their partner’s tender areas in the and they go out of their way to be sensitive to them.
As you get ready for the holidays, it can be tempting to compare yourself to others, especially if you’re single or divorced. But, this might be a good time to try appreciating yourself instead.
Maybe you could begin by treating yourself the way partners in good relationships treat each other.
You could remember to keep in mind your own unique “story” and where you come from. It never works to compare yourself to others. It only helps to compare where you are today, to where you started. So, you might try celebrating how far you’ve come.
It also helps to be sensitive to your own “tender or vulnerable areas.” Remember, to be gentle with yourself. You are a work in progress. And that is perfectly okay.
Maybe you could even give yourself a little extra TLC this holiday season. Some ways you could do that might include:
- Putting yourself on your own Christmas list. Sometimes even something inexpensive can make you feel really special.
- If you’re spending time with your family-of-origin, enjoy what is good about your family, but also take extra good care of yourself with boundaries and knowing your limits. Remember sometimes you can only “take so much of a good thing”
- Staying in touch with people and places where you feel loved and safe. This could include close friends, a counselor, a support group, and let’s not forget your beloved dog or cat.
- Setting aside time for your favorite holiday traditions. A favorite Christmas performance or church service, doing something special for those you love, being of service to to someone less fortunate, whatever makes you feels extra good during the holidays.
- Let yourself have a little fun. Even if your life isn’t exactly what you want right now. It’s still okay to kick up your heels a bit. Say “yes” to that holiday dinner or party. You never know. You might actually enjoy yourself.
Remember “living your life today” is one of the best ways to attract a good relationship. Plus, when you develop the art of appreciating the love you do have (including the love you have for yourself), you’ll be more ready for the love that is coming.
So maybe this Thanksgiving, it would be okay to start with being thankful for yourself — for all you are, for all you’ve come through to get here, and for all you are becoming.