It’s that time of year that invites us to relax, after the activities of the holidays, and reflect on the year that is coming to an end. The New Year is the marker that this past year will never be repeated. It’s almost, then completely, over and the new year will soon be upon us.
As humans, though, if we don’t apply conscious thought to the change of the year, we will just cruise along doing the same things as last year. That’s not all bad, for sure.
But we’ve been given the gift of thought—of consciousness—of the ability to decide how we want to be at any given time in our lives and to make a plan to act on that decision.
As the year changes, it’s time review our love relationship.
Nothing alive is static and your relationship is a living thing. Every living thing is in continual flux.
Think about our living bodies. They are constantly regenerating skin, blood, cells, hair, etc. If this slows down and eventually stops, that’s because we are dead.
Relationships are like our bodies. If we continually renew our commitments to ourselves and our partner, and make the changes we want, then our relationship continues to live and we feel “alive” in that relationship.
However, if we just chug along, unthinking and unchanging, the relationship, like our bodies, loses its vitality, joy and connection, and becomes “flatlined”, which means, “to be in a state of no progress or advancement; to come to an end”. (Webster’s dictionary)
The relationship can flatline if we passively go about our usual business, without being conscious of change and we can be caught off-guard. We can also begin to feel bored, apathetic or disinterested. After a while, this can morph into dissatisfaction.
I am advocating that you not let this occur. Instead, make the decision to enter this next year consciously, having thought deeply about the lessons from the past year.
Be determined to keep the good things in your relationship.
• Being compassionate to your partner
• Carving time out to spend together
• Staying calm during difficult conversations
Be determined to overcome (and ultimately, discard) the things that need to be left behind.
• Being disrespectful to your partner during arguments;
• Storing up grievances and then exploding in anger;
• Thinking to yourself that your partner is “always” going to control you and you just have to accept it while harboring deep resentment
Hopefully, I’ve given you the idea that it’s time to reflect on how things have been, and be determined to do some planning for next year.
My method: Here’s a method that I’ve used each year-end that has served me well.
First, find a period of time of at least 60-90 minutes.
Then, find a quiet place and make it comfortable, with water, tea, coffee, candle or anything that suits you.
Have your journal with you and a pen or pencil, or your tablet or computer.
Do some thinking then writing about the questions below, as well as any others that come to mind.
Questions for reflection: In my relationship with my partner,
• What things do I want to bring forward into the new year?
• What things do I want to leave behind?
• What new things do I want to invite into myself and my relationship?
• What has been my part in the good and the not-so-good in the past year?
• What do I want our relationship to be like by this time next year?
• Who do I have to be in order to make this happen (of course, you are yourself, but what improvements, awareness, changes)?
• Any other questions that come to mind. Try concentrating on YOURSELF in the relationship and focus less on what changes you want your partner to make.
At this point, don’t worry about putting together a plan. Just reflect in the depth required to answer these questions.
Next time, we’ll move forward with the plan.
PS: Please comment below to let me know how this reflection goes for you!