What We Bring to Relationships

During the Holidays By Chad Shober

For some the holidays can be childhood bliss and for others it can

be dreadful.Many families get together during the holidays because it’s a holiday and it’s a tradition. Some families find themselves arguing and can’t wait for the holidays to be over and then there are other families that love being together and wish they could get

together more often. But what kind of person will you bring to your family gathering?Will we expect others to behave a certain way and get angry when they don’t or will we focus on our own individual behavior? I have spentmost ofmy young life expecting people to behave in a certain way towards me so that I would feel better about myself or to be honest so that I would feel safe. I have expected people to treat me with kindness, love and respect. I have expected people to not bemean tome or to causeme harm. I have expected people to dowhat I want them to do or to live their lives based on my beliefs of how I think they should live so that I feel better. I expected my parents to love me or to do certain things for me and if they didn’t do it

according to my expectations, then I believed that they didn’t love me.When I have been in romantic relationships I have expected my partner to believe and to do things exactly as I do them or to behave the way I think they should behave so that we wouldn’t fight or argue or ultimately break up. To me this guaranteed that my partner wouldn’t leave me and I wouldn’t be left feeling abandoned. During the holidays the abandonment and the pain seem to intensify and I felt incredibly alone during this time.With my family and friends I would get so angry or experience so much anxiety because they saw things differently than I. I thought if I just yelled loud enough or if I wrote them a letter explaining my position then I would be heard. I thought that they would understandme and I thought that I could change their way of thinking. Because after all, I was right and they were wrong. I had and still do at times have expectations of people. I want everyone to see politics, religion, spirituality the way I do. I want us all to be in harmony and to be in love but according tomy beliefs. The keywords here though are…”my beliefs”. This leaves no room for what others think, feel or believe. I’ve come to understand that by having expectations I was focused on everyone else

instead of myself. By focusing on how I thought I was being treated I didn’t realize how I might have been treating them. I was making myself morally superior to everyone around me and in doing so I caused pain and separation. I was pushing people away instead of letting them know that I loved them and that they could feel safe with me. I wasn’t asking questions like:What can I bring to a relationship? OrWhat am I doing that is unloving? I wasn’t taking the time to focus onmy behavior ormodeling howIwould like to be treated. Instead I was focused on how I thought people were treating me. I was consumed with understanding everyone’s negative behavior as a way of analyzing them in hopes of keeping myself safe. Maybe we can ask ourselves some questions before we attend our family gatherings this

holiday season. For example, How can I lovemy family even when I find themannoying? Is there any way I can be a help so it’s less stressful on the host? I think it’s important to remember that relationships are about my loving behavior and what I am giving to the other person. Do I want to cause pain or do I want to give love?Asking these questions of yourself may help you have a more loving experience during the holidays.

Chad Shober is a mentor who works with individuals and groups to understand, over-

come and pass through their pain. His homebase is in Bergen County, NJ and the Greater New York City area. Chad teachesACourse inMiracles and shares his teachings in a group setting on Zoom. To find out if you would like to work with Chad contact him for a free 10 minute session. For information about his Zoom meetings he can be reached at 347-703-2323 or by email

28 • • 845-359-6902


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