With having addressed walking the line in both our fitness and nutrition, this week the topic may not seem to directly impact to your health but is more important that we often realize. Relationships. Think about it? How much does your mood or physical stress release or increase based of the quality of relationships you have in your world. It is time walk the line from where we are in our key relationships to where we desire to be. After all, it is our relationships with others that are arguably the most important thing in life. Think about it. It isn’t the stuff, but the memories we make with those we love that are the most valuable to us.
The sad thing is though, that with how socially connected we are today in a virtual sense, more than ever it seems we have become relationaly disconnected. I believe this is because we have forgotten the power of authenticity and face to face interaction. One of the side effects of social media is we can feel more connected than we are. In a way it is as though relationships have become more about about perception than reality. Our gauges can be thrown off looking at the blur of perfect photos and videos posted on social media deluding us to thinking that is real life when SO much of life is left off of social media. From the most embarrassing moments to even the ones that are far more valuable than what can be captured in one image or video. Reality is always better than virtual reality. We know that innately, yet the amount of time and focus we give to social media for many of us can point to otherwise.
Today I want to remind you (as well as myself) about some of the basics of relationships and healthy friendships:
Want a friend? Start with being friendly. - It is easier to blame others for a lack of connection, but the truth is it starts with us taking responsibility for our own lives and making the first move.
Love does not require agreement. - Our politically correct obsession in culture today would have us believe otherwise. Want proof of the truth of this? Look to the most healthy marriage you know. Do they disagree? I’d hedge a guess that the answer is a resounding yes. But that doesn’t make the relationship or love any less genuine. In fact I would go as far as to say that you know it is love when it remains despite a disagreement. When connection is fought for instead of given up without a fight.
Conflict isn’t bad, but creates more health and strength in a relationship. - We can’t be afraid to step into confrontation. That is the thing, when there are disagreements it isn’t that you ignore those areas, but instead seek to find common ground a process that comes through a conversation that can be confronting. No one is comfortable with this, but the truth remains, all relationships that willingly confront issues quickly, with grace and love end up stronger after the conflict than weaker.
Relationships move at the speed of trust. Trust can be broken and takes time to repair. - All relationships are built on a foundation of trust. Sometimes the trust is assumed at first until broken and then takes time to rebuild. But the key with this is to recognize the value of alignment of what we both say and what we do. Trust is most quickly broken when we say one thing and yet do the opposite. A relationship can go only as far as the depth of trust each person has with the other. To carry any load together requires mending of trust when broken before any advancement can happen.
Eliminate Avoidance. If the relationship is valuable to you, honor it by facing issues instead of sweeping them under the rug. - This is very closely connected to number 3, however it seems worthy of highlighting separately. The thing about conflict because it isn’t enjoyable is we can convince ourselves it is okay to avoid addressing the issue. This produces only one thing… resentment. Issues left unaddressed breed bitterness and resentment. A toxin to any relationship. In any relationship you have, if you honor it, face issues head on in a loving and gentle manner.
There are many more things that contribute to a healthy relationship, but I figure these 5 are the ones I see most often forgotten these days. With Christmas coming up next week there are sure to be tensions that come up. The beautiful chaos that comes with being in a family. It comes with the territory. My prayer is that these help you have more grace with yourself, with your family, and your friends this holiday season so you can wade through the disagreements with ease. Think of it this way, be happy that you have a friend/family close enough to push your buttons.
Now lastly, I want to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas! May you create many memories of laughter, fun and real conversations with your family.
Much love and blessings!