being yourself, express feelings, forgiveness, friends, Jane Butler, Jane Paffenbarger Butler, joy, listening, love, marriage, parents, psychotherapy, relationship
This month I am featured in Psychology Today’s Healthy Connections blog by Maryann Karinch where she tells the story of what she calls my introduction to “meathead therapy.”
When my husband and I were young and first married we went to his Aunt Maureen and Uncle Meathead’s on Christmas Eve. Theirs was a modest gathering, but I loved it because the one thing that was not modest was the connection I saw between the people who came and went. Folks arrived at the door and each was welcomed like a king. They were offered a drink, some food, a seat, and all the time in the world, crowding onto the attic stairs when room at the table ran out.
The goal was to entertain, to tell funny stories even at each other’s expense, even as it exposed each other’s bullheadedness, ignorance or misery.
And I was spellbound.
These folks cared for each other. I’d go so far as to say they loved each other. My family didn’t sit around the kitchen table on Christmas Eve welcoming one another in with drinks and smiles and all the time in the world because of our handicap of taking life seriously and rejecting one another for our human foibles.
Since that night with Maureen and Meathead, and with my steadfast husband next to me, I have worked hard in psychotherapy and have learned about the healthy attitudes of accepting one another for who we are and learning to celebrate one another no matter how goofy we get.
I think the healthy connections we make are born of the dedicated showing up at each other’s kitchen tables no matter what the circumstance.
Check out my story in Psychology Today.