"What Buying a Christmas tree taught us about relationships. .."
By Susie and Otto Collins
Like so many of you, one Christmas we bought and decorated our Christmas tree.
The 9 foot tall tree is beautifully shaped and immediately brought the Christmas
spirit into our home. The tree was placed in a very sturdy stand and decorated
with plenty of lights and ornaments from years past. Everything was great until
the tree and all of its finery crashed on top of 5' 2" Susie as she edged
it into its corner.
After righting the tree and recovering the ornaments from the floor, we
discovered that the reason the tree fell was because 70% of its weight was on
the side that initially attracted us to its beauty. For safety reasons, we were
forced to turn the beautiful, full side to the corner and face the side that was
thin to the outside. This is the side we decorated!
A lot can be learned about relationships by looking at this Christmas metaphor.
When we begin a relationship, we show the wonderful parts of ourselves and even
if we don't mean too, we hide the not so desirable parts of ourselves from our
partner or people we work with. We may not consciously hide those parts of
ourselves but the "honeymoon" period conceals those parts that are
But as the relationship grows, our unhealthy patterns start to emerge and our
"bare" spots start to show. Gary Zukav talks about this
"post" honeymoon experience as being when the "real"
relationship begins. No amount of beautiful ornaments and lights can hide the
"bare" spots. In fact, if you're doing your "work," you
shouldn't hide them. This is because no matter how much you try to cover them
over, they're still there. We've found that in order for your relationships to
really work, you have to tackle those "bare" spots within yourself.
Another aspect of our Christmas tree saga that reminded us of relationship
dilemmas was the uneven weight of the tree that caused it to topple over. In all
of our relationships there are power and vulnerability issues. In a spiritual
partnership or conscious relationship, both people are both powerful and
vulnerable at different times and in different situations. But if one person is
more powerful or more vulnerable than that makes for a very unhealthy
Yes, people stay together and might not "topple over" where there is
an imbalance of power and vulnerability but this doesn't empower either one. If
both people feel empowered, they will experience more passion and joy in life.
We feel that being conscious of the power and vulnerability issues in your life
is a step toward having outstanding relationships. Look for the patterns of
power and vulnerability in your relationships--you'll soon see them emerge!
Another aspect of our tree metaphor which we discovered was that we had
unconsciously selected the tree based on the side that was shown to us and did
not take a close look at its structure.
What we are encouraging you to do is make sure that you are conscious in all
ways in all your relationships. What this means is to decide what your
intentions are moment by moment and live in accordance with those intentions. It
also means making conscious choices in your life.
We've found it essential to practice looking beneath the surface of a situation
to see what's really going on. When you look beneath the surface, you finally
reach an understanding and empathy with the other.
Any of these issues we've talked about simply require good, honest, clear
communication based on what your intentions for the relationship are. Get clear
on your intentions and then talk openly and honestly.
This Christmas tree may not be the most beautiful one we've had but it has
taught us some great lessons about being conscious in all things--a lesson we
continue to learn!
Susie and Otto Collins are married, life partners who are
Relationship and Life Success Coaches, and authors of several books
on relationships, including "Should You Stay or Should You Go?" "No
More Jealousy" "Creating Relationship Trust" "Communication Magic"
and "Attracting Your Perfect Partner." In addition to having a great
relationship, they regularly write, speak and conduct seminars on
love, relationships and personal growth. To read more free articles
like this or to sign up for their free online relationship tips
newsletter visit http://www.collinspartners.com