Maintaining effective communication during the holidays

Today’s blog is written by Emy Minzel, Adventure Sister.

The stress of the holidays has a way of bringing us closer or tearing us apart. I hear stories that make me laugh, cry, and groan, sometimes all at the same time. I would like to focus on how we convey or communicate love in our closest family relationships. I am guilty of getting defensive when I hear something I may not agree with from people I love. Yet through my years I’ve learned it’s not the best way to communicate effectively.

We know that when our parents, family, and friends are meddling in our lives it’s usually because they love you and see things from a different perspective. They may have advice we don’t want to hear, but it is important for us to listen with love. They speak up because they had been there and done that, and don’t want to do it again. They warn us or tell us ‘how it is’ because they love you, even if it upsets us and pisses us off.

What if we decided to give our dearest family and friends, the benefit of the doubt? Choose to think only the best of them. If we tried to recognize that whatever they do or say, they do it out of love or fear. Then we could also assume that the people we love, do the best they can, in the time and space they’ve been given. I have realized that all our actions, the good, the bad, and the ugly, come from fear or love. At the root, we all want to be loved. As we grow in different ways and different directions, the way we communicate changes as well.

What matters is that we continue to communicate. Even if we are scared, it’s important to tell our loved ones if you are fearful, or hurt, without assuming their actions or words were purposely harmful. Most likely they were not. Keeping lines of communication open, by not overreacting or shutting down is difficult for some, yet it’s imperative for effective communication. When we overreact and blow up, our emotions take over and our ears stop listening, stopping any connection in its tracks. This can affect even our closest most cherished relationships.

What if we met miscommunication and perceived hurt with love? Understanding that loved ones are either fearful of something or trying to show love in a way you may not understand. How would the conversation change if we chose to calm fears, by focusing on love? It may take courage to ask our loved ones to explain until we understand. It takes disciplined focus to speak our truth the best we are able, in the kindest way possible. It’s well worth the work we put in to communicating well, we should talk and know it’s ok to agree to disagree, respectfully.

It can be hard to remember that how we communicate our thoughts and feelings will define our character. How we act/react, handle hard times/good times/holidays, how you make someone feel, the words you choose and how you say them become how you communicate. How you communicate portrays how your closest family and friends will remember you.

My hopes this holiday season are that you too choose love and communication. Remembering that most of your family will act out of fear or love. When we focus on love, we open understanding and healing, this is how we make the world a better place, one family at a time.

~ Emy Minzel, Adventure Sister

What is love?

What is love? Is it the passion you feel for your romantic partner? Is it the warmth in your heart when you see a sleeping baby? There are as many different answers to this question. Probably as there are people to ask it. I want to tell you about the selfless love my husband has displayed to me over that last couple of weeks. It has shown me another aspect to love. I am blessed to have the unconditional love of this man.

Two weeks ago I fell and broke my wrist. Having only the use of my left hand has given me challenges that I didn’t anticipate on having. We tend to under appreciate having two working hands. It isn’t until you lose the use of one hand that you recognize that. I have needed help with things that in the past I took for granted. Washing my hair, putting on my socks, and opening a container, were some of the tasks i needed help with. My husband patiently helped me with these once seemingly easy tasks.

 

When the pain was new and intense, he got up every 2 hours in the night to make sure I was as comfortable as possible and to give me pain medications. He has driven me to appointments and meetings. He has been right by my side throughout this process. My husband has taken over household chores that are typically my responsibility. He has done all of this with care and compassion. He is steady when I am having a meltdown because something is more difficult now. My husband reassures me, when I feel bad because I have lost my cool.

 

I now know that love is multifaceted. It is the hot steamy moments alone, touching and exploring pleasure together. It is looking tour new grandson with pride. It is holding hands and walking down the street as the sun sets together. Love is so much more than these sweet moments. Love is caring for another, even when it is not glamorous. Marty shows me his unending love by doing for me what i can’t not currently do for myself. He needs no praise or recognition. He does it because he loves me from deep in his soul.

I am grateful for this love. I am humbled by it. I hope he feels the depth of my love. When I bake cookies, wash the towels, and do other simple household tasks, I express this love.

What ways do you show your love?