“Perhaps that’s another reason true intimacy is so frightening. It’s the one thing we all want, and must give up all control to get.”
There is one thing, one desire, which I have found most dominant while on the front lines of learning about others’ hearts…while on the front line of learning about my own heart. The desire to be fully known and yet fully loved drips from the soul like a sponge at full capacity. It’s as if this longing has been hardwired into the strands of our DNA. And while I recognize this very basic and yet very monstrous human need, I also recognize the reality of an often unmet and seemingly illusionary conquest to have the need be fulfilled. Why is this? Why does it seem that true intimacy is a fleeting notion only found in our wildest imaginations?
Intimacy, the masterpiece that is painted one vulnerable and courageous brushstroke at a time.
Intimacy requires vulnerability of heart, soul, spirit, and mind. To be fully known, we have to allow ourselves to be fully seen. To set aside our masks of protection and allow the beautiful, messy reality of whom we are to be held by another. There is a Japanese form of art called Kintsugi, in which the artist purposely breaks a piece of pottery to put it back together with gold lacquer. The artist believes the breakage and repair hold beauty and should not be disguised. Knowing the ‘wish we could erase mistakes,’ and ‘best self-moments’ are regarded as adding equal amounts of wonder and awe to the story of you gives vulnerability wings of flight.
Donald Miller, author and speaker, spotlights a hidden landmine to attaining true intimacy. Giving up control. That is why vulnerability must be paired with courageousness. Being vulnerable and trusting another with one’s deepest self requires mass amounts of courage because we have no control over how someone will receive our attempts at connection and intimacy.
The nature of courage embodies endurance to push on in the face of adversity. Don’t let broken attempts at intimacy steer you from a relational blessing that has the potential to be well worth the hurt and heartache it took to get there. Because just like the art of Kintsugi, we are more beautiful because of our brokenness AND that, my friend, deserves to be celebrated and shared.
I recently found myself in a situation where my significant other said, “Elise, I feel like everyone else is getting the best of you and there’s nothing left for me.” Talk about a stomach-dropping moment. You never want to hear that!
It prompted me to look into dynamic and manageable ways to create some type of guaranteed quality time that my partner could look forward to each week, I could plan into my hectic life, and we could use to strengthen our connection as a couple. After many unsuccessful ideas, I came across the idea of implementing a weekly couple’s meeting. This would be an hour each week where we’d have a set structure of questions and topics to discuss and ask one another.
We’ve completed 8 weeks, and I can confidently say it’s changed our relationship for the better.
Here are some of the benefits I’ve experienced from our Weekly Couple’s Meeting:
Below are some ideas to get you started on your weekly meeting. I’d suggest selecting 6-8 questions or topics. You can customize these as needed to best fit your relationship.
Lastly, here are some guidelines to ensure a successful conversation. Remember that successful doesn’t always mean happy and positive but rather connection and honesty.
It can be difficult distinguishing the difference between a meltdown and a tantrum when looking at an upset child, but it’s important to know they are not the same. Knowing the difference can help you learn how to respond to best support a child.
Meltdown vs. Tantrum
What is Sensory Meltdown
For some kids, a sensory meltdown can happen when there’s too much sensory information to process. The loud lunchroom or a busy place like a shopping mall. For other kids, it can be a reaction to having too many things to think about. Multiple directions given to them at once or looking at a closet full of clothes, deciding what to wear.
Sensory meltdowns are a reaction to something around them that is beyond the child’s control. A sensory meltdown is a fight, flight or freeze response to sensory overload.
Meltdowns may look different for each child, it will also differ depending if the response to a trigger is a fight, flight or freeze response. Examples could be running, whining, hiding, avoiding eye contact, crying, hitting, pushing, punching, biting, spitting, or shutting down (not talking or moving).
Common Causes of Sensory Overload Meltdowns
Managing a Meltdown
Find a safe and quiet place to de-escalate. You can prompt the child by saying in a calm quiet voice, “let’s go to sit by the window for a few minutes.” During this time, remain calm and try not to talk too much. The goal is to reduce the input coming at them.
Teach the child calming and self-regulation techniques. Creating a sensory or anti-anxiety tool-kit specifically for the child is a very effective way to ease the meltdowns. The key to this is practicing with the child prior to meltdowns.
What is a Temper Tantrum
Tantrums occur when a child is unable to get what he wants or needs. Tantrums are controllable and it is common for a child to calm down and then get angry again. This is attention seeking behavior.
There can be many reasons a child has a temper tantrum. If you and a child are struggling with this behavior consult a professional who specializes in child behaviors such as a therapist, psychologist or doctor.