I facilitate a 90 day program called Love in Action. During which a team of people come together to reach goals related to their VISION while also making a difference in the community. Each week I present the team with a theme to explore individually and collectively. This past week the theme was RELATIONSHIPS. We explored the relationships that matter most to us and what we wanted to create with them. The team had major paradigm shifts and healing. I’d like to share 5 lessons we learned as we tackled this subject.
1. VISION SETS THE TONE INTENTION is the SOURCE of everything we CREATE. To understand it, you only need to answer one question – What do you want? Part of the reason, we face challenges in our relationships is because we participate in them without asking or answering that simple question. If you ask the question at the onset of the relationship, you may realize that you want different things and maybe a different relationship. We need to ask this question during the relationship to ensure all parties are still on the same page. If you’re operating from an outdated VISION than it’s probably time to adjust it based on where you are NOW. Other times answering this question allows you to identity and address issues that me be blocking or derailing your VISION.
2. VULNERABILITY & INTIMACY WORK AS A TEAM It’s absolutely impossible to have a healthy, harmonious, and fulfilling relationship without being intimate. Not sexual, INTIMATE. There’s a difference. Intimacy is about allowing someone to see past your mask and into the essence of you. It requires VULNERABILITY. We must put down the walls and show the people we love who we are. It can be scary and uncomfortable but it’s NECESSARY. Practicing VULNERABILITY with your loved ones makes it safe for them to return the favor. Be mindful, if what you’ve created to date has been chaos and drama, it may take a while before they get that it’s safe to be vulnerable in your presence. Stick with it. Eventually, people that truly love you will open up.
3. A DIRTY HOUSE STINKS! CLEAN IT UP!!!! Wounded people, wound people. The victim and the victimizer are opposite ends of the same spectrum. Whenever there’s a problem in a relationship, this is usually the archetype all parties are dealing wit
CLEAN UP the problem by taking RESPONSIBILITY for how you contributed to it. Here are some questions that can help you with this process: · What could you have done differently to have a better result? · Did you tell yourself and your loved ones the truth in the beginning? · Did you ignore your intuition on how to handle this issue? · What did you learn from this experience about YOURSELF? · What will you do differently going forward?
Do not shame or blame your loved ones? Just own your part. Share what you are committed to doing differently going forward. If you are not committed to new behavior tell the truth about that too. No one wants to be sold false promises. People want the truth. Being honest allows you and them to really address the issue instead of fixing a lie.
4. TELL THE TRUTH AND RECEIVE THE TRUTH Communication in relationships come down to two things – SPEAKING and LISTENING. Telling the truth can be the hardest thing for some people to do. We’ve been told all our lives to tell the truth. But experience taught us that sometimes doing so has people respond with hurt feelings, anger, and punishment. Deep down inside none of us want to hurt the people we love. I’m saying, tell the truth anyway. Because keeping it stuffed inside has you show up in your relationships with hurt feelings, anger, untrustworthy and punishing the people you love. Clearly, that’s not working in your favor so honor your spirit and follow your heart.
Effective listening is done without trying to think of what you want to say next when someone else is speaking. Your loved ones know that you are not hearing them the same way you know when you’re not being heard. So, let’s scratch the kindergarten saying, “Listen with your ears not your mouth.” Listen with your heart because it uses love and compassion as filters for every experience. If you are speaking to anyone that doesn’t deserve both of them then you are wasting your time and energy in that conversation. Make a better choice.
5. AGREEMENTS CREATE SAFETY It’s really SIMPLE. Agreements in relationships create safety, “buy in”, and respect. It invokes a sense of order and personal accountability because everybody knows what’s required of them. Miguel Ruiz wrote an enlightening book called The Four Agreements. He encourages his readers to live by these Ground Rules: 1. Be Impeccable With Your Word 2. Don’t Take Anything Personal 3. Don’t Make Assumptions 4. Always Do Your Best
I personally, think this is a great starting point for your relationship agreements. One agreement I made with my teenagers is always answer your cell phone when mom calls. Clear, concise, and easy. Just in case, you want to add a personal touch to your agreements try these questions: · What will make all parties feel safe in this relationship? · What will each person contribute to the relationship? · What is unacceptable behavior in the relationship?
Relationships can be challenging because they force us to see things about ourselves that we’d rather ignore. They encourage us to love people beyond what's comfortable and familiar. Nonetheless, the rewards of having healthy, loving, functional relationships far out way the challenges we face to get there. LOVE answers every ache and seeps into every crevice when we allow it.
I hope this article provided insight on how to RELATE in your RELATIONSHIPS. Now grab someone and LOVE them openly. LOVE them honestly. LOVE them freely.
Peace & Blessings