Love Letter: The Holidays + Relationships (12/19/23)

I’m curious: What were the holidays like for your family? Would you be willing to tell me what you remember? Did your family have traditions during the holidays?

I didn’t grow up with traditions; funnily enough, I don’t have a lot of positive memories of the holidays either. It’s important to me to create them now, not just with my daughter but with my husband! I have some angst about the holidays with past relationships, mostly because I always approached them from a very immature place. 

The holidays were a place where I was caught up in expectation and fantasy about what they “should” be and never, ever expressed what would be meaningful to me until I did the work and showed up differently with my husband. 

You are allowed to feel whatever you feel, and the holidays DO bring up a lot – especially around grief. Please know you are not alone, no matter what you are feeling or experiencing, and this is my second holiday season now without Andrew’s mom. We can feel many things simultaneously, but the most important thing is revealing what you need. 

Your midweek mantra is, “It is my job to reveal myself and let people know my feelings, my needs, and my dreams.”

The whole point is togetherness

The whole point of the partnership is shared experience in ALL that life brings and deepening our capacity to love ourselves, one another, and the world. 

It takes tremendous courage to have meaningful conversations when it comes to love. 

Most people think of love as a feeling – forgetting that feelings come and go, that feelings follow BEHAVIOR, and that CAPACITY for love is what to look for. 

I’ve shared time and time again that the question to ask yourself is, “Is this someone I can practice love with?” 

Partnership reveals so much about us, our patterns, our past, and our future. 

The holidays can be very triggering because of stress and unrealistic and unmet expectations. 

People constantly make so many assumptions about others and in relationships, and so many problems could be solved simply by being willing to talk about them. 

Listening is a skill; understanding is a skill, and being willing to explore what’s best for the PARTNERSHIP is a skill. 

Very few people have ever had the experience of making decisions WITH someone else (especially folks who are used to feeling powerless in relationships). 

I remember the holidays activated so many stories about what my partner “should” do or what we “should” be. 

Friendly reminder: anyone can post a very pretty picture on Instagram, and you have no idea the truth behind the photo. 

After ten years of being together, our gift-giving has shifted in our household. Every single year, we discuss what matters to us. 

Every year is brand new for us. Every year is about meeting where we are NOW and how we spend our time and money around the holidays. 

Beware of unrealistic expectations, beware of idealized stories in the holidays, beware of NOT discussing with your partner how you’ll share responsibilities around the house, how you’ll share your time, how you’ll spend your money. It doesn’t have to be so hard. 

Check out The New Truth podcast episode from this week, where Kate has a conversation with Life & Grief Coach Yvette Tarrant about “Loving Again After Loss.” In this incredibly powerful, potent episode, they talk about losing someone you love, navigating the depth of grief, and coming back to life again. If you have lost someone you love deeply and are having a hard time finding your way back to yourself – this episode is for you.

I love you,