Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Toast to Passion!

It has been a summer of weddings, kids gatherings, and even a moment or two to find some vacation time. As fall is now a couple of days into it’s season, and we are still getting some beautiful sunny days with temperatures hitting the 70’s, I am reminded that though the season may still feel like summers end, time has a way of marching on, and no doubt falling leaves will beckon their raking before long.

I always feel it when I go many weeks, and yes even months between my postings on this page. This time I knew that as summer was winding down, I would have much to reflect upon to bring this page back to life. First, it has been many many years since I have been to a wedding, and this summer, all of a sudden I had three to go to. And, at two of these festive occasions, my daughter attended the bride. Next to a birth or a death, witnessing the wedding of someone in the generation below you is a pretty serious reminder that those numbers that keep adding up from the date of your birth do mean something. Last year it was 50. This year it is 50 plus 3 weddings. Oh, that’s what happens when mom turns the half-century marker!

While socializing with a friend of my niece-turn-bride during her wedding weekend, it came up in conversation that I am a marriage and family therapist, at which point this young woman wanted to know if I had offered my niece and her groom any advice. From that conversation I decided that it would be a nice opportunity for this aunt to offer some sweet loving light hearted advice with a toast at the party.

So here is my toast to Passion, which I now offer to all who wish for the same hope that newlyweds have on their first night of wedded bliss:

The gist of it is this- Don't be afraid of your passion. You come together because of passion, and inevitably there will be conflict. The things that make you different are what draw you passionately together, and those very same things inevitably will also create conflict in your relationship. Don't be afraid of the conflict. When you get through it, it will help you to understand each other better, and bring you closer together. Don’t believe the myth about never going to bed angry. Anger happens. In general, however, it is never really about the "other" who triggers it, but comes about when all of our old “stuff” triggers or scares us. When you do go to bed angry, and find yourself twisting and turning, muttering to yourself, pointing a symbolic finger of anger at your partner, just remember, that this is a very good time to become self-reflective, and an opportunity to develop a better understanding of your own triggers and fears. There will be conflict in your relationship, and nights that you go to bed angry. Just make sure that you recognize these events as part of your passion. Celebrate your differences. Passionately. Know that it is passion that brought you together; it will get you through to the other side of your conflicts, and it will keep you together over the long haul.

A toast to many many years of tenderness, love, and just the right amount of Passion to seal the bond!!