The words “trick or treat” will be uttered by millions of children all over the world this week and so it got be to thinking about what how these words might apply to the topic of wellness. When it comes to personal wellness it seems to me that “trick or treat” can represent two very different ways that we see life, two different world views. The reality of course is that life presents us with both tricks and treats, hard times and wonderful times. But I think deep down we each make a decision about which view of life will become our primary orientation, the primary lens through which we see life. And that choice makes a world of difference in our personal wellness.
When a child knocks on your door and says the words “trick or treat” they of course open up their bag or pillow case anticipating that they will be receiving a delightful treat. In our relationships with our partners we do something similar: we open up our hearts and souls to each other, anticipating that we will be treated with love and compassion. Despite our best intentions though, we sometimes hurt each other, causing our partner to feel more tricked than well treated. Healthy relationships recover quickly from such exchanges with the exchange of genuine apologies and genuine forgiveness. If we don’t repair the hurt in a relationship, then over time we will stop opening our hearts and souls to each other. If this describes you and your partner, I hope you will begin making amends today, and if necessary seek help to find how you can return to treating each other well.
In any given extended family at any given time, people are going through different stages of life and are experiencing a variety of ups and downs. Some are hurting and may be feeling tricked by life. Some may feel like life is passing them by. Others may be feeling that life could not be treating them better. If you are in the latter category, be sure that you are taking time to reach out to others in your family that may be hurting. After all, that’s what families are for, and you never know when the roles might be reversed! Happy Halloween, everyone.