Building Healthy Relationships ~
‘True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.’
~ George Washington
‘Relationships are our primary teacher. They are the context in which we either grow into the consciousness of God,
or deny ourselves and others the opportunity to do so.’
~ Marianne Williamson, from A Year of Daily Wisdom Calendar
The Building Blocks of Genuine Communication ~
‘A friend can tell you things you don’t want to tell yourself.’
Planting and building a healthy friendship that flourishes comes by two way communication shared openly and honestly and founded on mutually respecting the right of another to be and express who they are, even if they feel or think differently about things. Being honest with another who is trustworthy encourages our ability to speak from our honesty with another. Otherwise, there can be a foundation of secrets and distrust being built upon, coming from another’s desire to control the way we feel and think by telling us what and how we should think to agree with them.
We are sentient beings and are able to sense when someone is holding something back from us, and we know when we ourselves are not saying what is really on our own Hearts to share. We are hoarding a portion of our self from another that may be of great value for a friend to hear and may be in order for our continued growth in the relationship.
Do You Have a Problem Oriented Mind or a Solution Oriented Mind? ~
When a conflict arises, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it viewed as an opportunity to change the way we are relating with the person we are in relationship with? Is your thoughts toward making the relationship work better or are we locked into repeating the same patterns of behavior and conduct as always, by trying to make the other person wrong in order to be right by demanding they must change their ways without seeing any need for changing your own? By taking the time to step back and get clear on what is really going on inside of our self, it can allow us some time to uncover the source of the cause of our behavior and find out why we conduct our relationship with another the way we do and then find ways to promote deeper growth by seeking solutions and not so much ways to maintain our right to be right, if we truly value the relationship.
If we have a hard time admitting our part in an unhealthy way of relating then asking the right questions of our self can help us break through to the possible reasons that have been suppressed and buried deep within to protect our self when we were in our more vulnerable years and unable to stand up for our self.
Questions we can ask when reaching a repeated impasse in a reoccurring conflict are;
What am I getting out this by being this way?
What is this costing me and what is my stance doing to the other person and our relationship?
Do I really value this relationship enough to change the way I am by finding other solutions?
While being openly honest can be uncomfortable and takes courage, it can create stronger bonds of trust, by discovering we can be who we are while allowing another to be who they are too. This comes from being secure in our self while in a relationship because we don’t have an unmet need that requires another to validate who we are. This is possible when we are willing to look at who we are, and honestly see if we are relating with or without an attachment to need our roles and titles we are filling by being in relationship with other people.
When our words are spoken for the purpose of bringing reconciliation, it can help the relationship to grow by first getting clear on what specific behavior and conduct another is doing that is causing us to pull away and what in their conduct is hurtful to you so you can offer solutions that will allow both to experience growth in relationship and not continue in patterns that hinder it. A conflict is a sign that there is a need for change necessary for the relationship to continue forward. We have the ability to choose how we are going to respond, and whether to proceed or not in a relationship. This is where our freedom to make choices can be recognized by our ability to make choices and learning why we make the choices we do especially when they are preventing us from making changes that raise the quality of our relationships.
Both parties must be willing to work together because a relationship takes two people.
Conflicts are most certain to occur no matter how close we are in relationship with another. How we choose to respond with another can change the outcome of a conflict between both people when both are willing and open to making changes and grow together.
Seeing our part in how we are contributing to a conflict is necessary and will help us to understand more clearly the patterns we are helping to reinforce and by recognizing this, it opens us up to knowing our self more intimately. We begin to examine where the source of our learned behavior and conduct have originated from, and then find ways of making necessary changes that are satisfactory and workable.
Are we just being critical? Or is this really about something we cannot live with in peace. In order to preserve the relationship, we must face our offender with a willingness to be vulnerable and honest in communicating with them graciously and with a humility that comes from understanding that we are all imperfect human beings who err.
And if we cannot do this and the relationship continues to be unhealthy, then it may be time to separate our self emotionally or by physically distancing our self in order to be able to do some healing work in our self first. Removing our self from an unhealthy relationship helps to keep us from focusing on the faults of another by still interacting with them and turn our attention towards healing our self first.
When we are are not being honest with another, then most likely there is fear that is preventing us from being able to speak freely what is on our heart and in our mind. It is good practice to find out what the fear is and why it’s there. Is there a fear of losing the relationship if we are honest? Find out where this fear initiated from by asking yourself if you were born with this fear. A healthy relationship is build upon trust that comes from honest communication with one another without the fear of losing the relationship. How have we come to the place of believing that honesty in relationship will result in loss of the relationship? We may have a fear of abandonment that we need to address in our self before approaching another and being able to speak without blaming by taking responsibility for our fear and being honest about it.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure ~
A way to prevent this from happening repeatedly, is to take a?deeper look?inside ourselves for the reasons that might be causing it to happen. As we open?up to understanding ourselves more intimately, we will see if we are being honest with our self or hiding, and whether?the person we feel has?betrayed us,?is really our self. Perhaps our behavior isn?t?matching our innermost values. What we place our genuine and utmost importance?upon that gives us our meaning in life. Finding out what?our real values are,?and addressing it, is InPowering. If we are not really being a true friend to our self, by not being honest with our self first, then how?can we be a true friend with Integrity, with any one else for that matter? It begins with our self being the groundwork of all our relationships to be built upon.
Conflicts Can Enlarge Our Perspective on Reality ~
Experiencing a conflict is similar in experience to a plant that has outgrown its container. It must be uprooted and transplanted into a larger pot with more soil, in order for it to continue to grow healthy, and to prosper. This?gives the roots?greater space to?grow its perspective reality, opening up?more room for it to expand. This can also cause a?temporary shock to the plant?s accustomed restricted system.
Speaking our True Heart in a healthy loving manner can feel similar to this, especially when it involves having a difficult conversation for the very first time. This is why being real and honest takes courage to speak from our Heart with a friend. And how the relationship continues to grow from this or not, will determine how strong the relationship?s foundation really is, or was in the first place.
Experiencing a?conflict can serve as a way for helping us to review our innermost intentions. Bringing into our awareness the necessity to evaluate whether there are any hidden motives, guises, or deceptions lurking around inside of us. Are we relying upon old ways of relating, using outdated values, which no longer serve us in reaching our desired outcome from where we once were? Are we basing our current values from our past history of relationships to carry us through? Is it time for a change, a time to get alone and re-view our values? Re-evaluating them will reveal what is most?important to us right now; show us where we are, and where we are no longer, to grow into larger roots of experience.
When our words?match our conduct, we find we have the inner strength to move us through the bumps of a difficult conversation. We will know the difference from when we are being petty and can let it go, and when we cannot compromise on our most important values. Communication like this builds a foundation of deepening trust in all our relationships. Being a friend who has Integrity and is honest in word and deed, is a great foundation to plant and build a life upon that will benefit any relationship you have. This character trait can be applied in friendships, business, and family, and in loving partnerships?
?Are We Transfering Blame and Self Responsibility onto Another? ~
‘When you blame others, you give up your power to change.’
~ Dr. Robert Anthony
?Raise your hand, if you can say you have real and genuine friends by the bucketfuls, I am speaking here of people who really know the inner most you?
I would say, that while?it is not impossible, it is?usually an unrealistic?expectation for most of us. Why is that? Because in order to have deep and meaningful relationships,?it takes spending quality time?to?get to?know someone well enough to build a safe environment together. One?in which?both feel?safe enough to be vulnerable,?in order to have?open?minded and?honest loving communications. It doesn’t happen?through small talk, by?talking around things,?hinting at things, while never really?coming right out?and saying?how you really feel about what’s important to you. Going through all this,?is entertaining?a hidden expectation of the other to be able to read your mind for you! A verbal?guessing game of Charades. Read My Mind, not my lips game playing.? We are?silently asking?our friend to be?our mind reader for us, so the responsibility of our emotions and convictions?is?actually being?focused? upon and placed outside of ourself, and onto them. We are asking?them to feel for us, and know what they should automatically just know, to?make us feel loved, without?ever asking or communicating?what exactly it is we need from?them ourself! It’s like wanting to have a relationship without participating as a mutual partner?in it!
Sounds like a relationship that happens in one’s head?while not being Present in living it out.
?Some Helpful Tools for Uncovering Our Most Important Values ~
?Asking outright?questions?is also an effective way to see if our friend’s values are in?agreement with ours.
Questions like; ‘What do you value the most?about our relationship?’
Then give them the opportunity to express what this is without judging. Judging seems to happen when we have hidden expectations, usually yet to be expressed, and they are not being met. So, listen?as though this is the first converstation you have ever had with them, and then show them that you are listening to them by rephrasing what they have shared. Make eye contact, and put all activities to the side for a moment and check your feelings as they arise when hearing your friend’s or partner’s response.
Re-viewing?our values a couple of times a year, at least more than once in our lifetime, is also an effective tool,?because we change so much through the years. My values are much different now from when I was twenty,?when planting and building a family was of primary importance. It doesn’t mean my family is not important to me?now, yet, my family is grown, and busy too,?and this allows me to focus on what I am doing with myself right now, I have opportunities to repot myself into a larger life of experiences. A time to re-draw my map due to re-charting my course.
?Developing A Relationship With Ourself ~
So, in order to get an idea of how I will draw my map with a compass, I ask myself, ‘What is?most?important to me right now?in order to feel fulfilled in myself at this time in my life? What do I want to experience in areas that matter to me?
Become curious about yourself.
?I am still moving through?a?transition and?with every step I am making active choices based on what I sense in response. I am?more fully attentive in?my day, and this?inner listening is revealing?some?deep and amazing?InSights about myself.?I’ve?become?more understanding?of?other people, as I grow?more aware of?understanding of?myself.?The way I?have noticed this shift, is?by asking more Heartfilled and meaningful questions of myself.?I’ve then asked my family and friends, what is most important to them in their personal relationships as well.??The answers I am receiving back are revealing to me what is important to each one in my circle of life.
It’s helping me to become a better friend to my family and friends, by understanding what they value the most too.
And what is even more interesting, is that while their responses are all?you-niquely expressed, at the Heart of the matter, they all said basically the same thing.?That what we all value the most about having a desire to experience relationships with others, is the experience we have?in sensing?being worthwhile, of genuinely mattering to someone because they matter to us too. By connecting with those who have the same values at Heart, it makes?us feel like we are giving value to another’s life, which?gives us our sense of feeling valued in return.? Feeling dignified and respected,? mutually.
Responses?from?loved ones, ages 23 through past 85 years, male and female, who responded to my question,
‘What is?Most Important to You about personal relationships?’
?A guideline, to help you in making the choices that will get you where you desire to be. That’s the potential of asking the right questions. Whether it is?about the quality of personal relationships you desire to experience, what kind of business you would like to be involved in, when looking to choose?a career to pursue,?how you desire to experience?your Spirituality, your?state of health,?and last but by no means least, assisting you in?uncovering your passion in Life. Find out what is most important to you in the areas that matter most?to you in your life. It will help you to design a map to reach a destination to arrive at, along with developing a map and a compass on how to get yourself there.
It may just lead you to your North Star.
Maintaining A Spiritual Perspective Builds Added Support For Our Relationships ~
‘When we can’t piece together the puzzle of our own lives, remember the best view of a puzzle is from above. Let Him help put you together.’
~?Ralph Waldo Emerson
‘Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.’
Integrating a Spiritual perspective in our lives, can give us a different view through increasing our InSightful awareness, into whether we are choosing to allow our ego to come forward and lead in our relationships and wreak havoc, or to?move it to?its rightful place,?by?listening and acting on cues from?Spirit?to guide?you. And one way I have found to evaluate whether it is the ego in me leading, (or in another I am relating with), is by taking the time to evaluate my inner state of being. Am I feeling peaceful inside or is there an unrestful conflict tumbling around in there??Follow the source of your unrestful feeling. Does a face come to mind or a situation? You are now able to see more clearly?where the cause is coming from in your unrest. Are you focusing?on someone or something in?the outer or inner world of your reality? Feel the energy of the person who you are relating with and then, ask them open ended questions, like, ‘what’s?most important to you about this matter right now? ‘How can I understand you better?’ And by all means ask yourself too. So you can have a?healthy, honest, conversation?through practicing effective communication.?This is an opportunity to?grow in your ability to become a True Friend to another. You will be blessed as your other is blessed in kind.
Open and honest communication leaves no room for assuming you know something about?the way?another is feeling or thinking, when in fact, you very well?may not.
Ego’s fort??is about wanting to be special in a way that excludes all others.?A special ‘case’. It stands out by forcing things, or focusing on ways?to capture someone’s attention. Wanting to be special in this way, can lead us into behaviors of competiveness. ‘I have to be better than someone else’ to stand out idea, or wanting to win someone over to our side.? I am only asking you to consider what is being shared here…to shift your perceptual attentiveness in possibly turning this idea around…and seeing it in another way ~
‘The ego seeks to use other people to fulfill our needs as we define them. When we try to use a relationship to serve our own purposes, we falter because we are reinforcing our illusion of need.’
~ Marianne Williamson, fro A Year of Daily Wisdom Calendar
When we are being our real and authentic self spontaneously, without striving to be something outside of ourself,? we are being ourself without any hidden motives, guises or deceptions.?Busy drumming up ideas of setting traps, in order to snag someone’s attention.??We will naturally stand out when we are being genuine.??We’ve all known and perhaps been?people who spend alot of time being engaged in the other way of attracting someone’s attention.?Placing alot of energy into being anything and everything but ourselves. Posturing. Trying harder and harder to convince others why they should choose?to be with us more than another.?We will end up with being surrounded by people who expect?us to keep up the facade of who they want?us to be in order to remain attracted to our facade.?Finding that it gets harder to maintain?a facade and?any relationship in this way.
?Genuine Love Is About Freedom of Choice
Genuine, Authentic Love, is about being with someone because you willingly choose to be with them out of the?pure Joy of delighting in their presence. They do not have to do anything but be who they are au naturelle.?It is?grounded??upon genuine acceptance.?No one is?looking to change the other, just enjoy their company the way they are, and the feeling is mutual. Friends in mutual relationship go through the changes together by natural rhythms and cycles in progression. It’s a walk together through the seasons of a naturally unfolding relationship, into enjoying the?full fruits of maturity.
Relationships present themselves to us?as a gift of opportunity, to?grow larger?in our?consciousness of GOD,?by being able to understand more deeply what?GOD consciousness means to us, through living in relationship with another.
‘True friendship starts the moment one person says to another “What? You too? I thought I was the only one!’
~ C.S. Lewis
True Friends are?ones who are able to share in your dreams with equally shared enthusiasm, ones who support you in maintainig your highest values, being in alignment with you, because they too have love and respect to share with you.?They also love and respect themself in a healthy way, and know what is most important to them also.
Don’t Compromise Your Inner Most Heart Values
Have you ever experienced yourself sharing your dreams with people you thought were your friends, who expected you to compromise your most important values to be able to be considered?a friend of theirs? Finding out?later on,?that their highest values were actually aligned with?your lowest ones?? In other words, for them to remain as?a friend, it would take giving?up our integrity, our sense of fairness of treating others?as equals,?having to compromise what is most important to our self,?in order for them to be willing to support?us in reaching our dreams, or to even be?a friend to us?
Have you ever been in a place where you have to choose?whether to give in and?cater to your lower values over living by your higher ones, just to be able to have a friend? Well, compromising our values is what leads us into a state of conflict inside of ourself. Our actions and attitudes have the ability to make our dreams realized or not.?We should not ever ?compromise our self for anyone if?we truly are living from a Heart of integrity. It’s Wisdom that tells us to?share our dreams with people who are willing to hold?us accountable to our higher values, who are equally willing for?us to hold them accountable to their higher values. Living from a Heart of Integrity in themselves, and towards all others, based on being fair, seeing?level ground for all others as we do?. Living from right mindedness,?which does not mean being right at all costs. It?comes from?Loving actively from healthy and wholesome values that allows us to make consistently wise choices that move us forward and not backwards in our life.
By doing what is right for the one being Loved even when it means being misunderstood in moments.
Living from a no strings attached, no hidden guises, no hidden motives,?no deceptive value system.
What Does Commitment?Really Mean?
Being willing to?make a commitment to our self, is an opportunity to grow into being commited to a relationshipwith another person. Do we maintain a relationship through thick and thin, or are we really only in this relationship for the feel good times only,?and?become gun shy?when the rapids begin to show signs of getting a little bit choppy and rough. Some are. And this is fine, it just might not be for you. So let go and make room for one who aligns with your values, your idea of what is most important to you in a relationship. Trust, Respect, Caring, Compassion, Connection, Honesty, Integrity, Loyalty, Warmth and Kindness, Planting and Building something together that lasts.
A way to find out how committed we are to our self is by taking inventory of how many promises we have made to our self that we have kept and not kept. And then follow through by taking inventory of how many promises we have kept?with another or not kept. Are we being true to our word by following through with it?
Learning How to?Make A Commitment,?Begins With?Keeping Your Word?To Yourself
This is what is being shown to me right now about myself. How to grow in becoming more committed to my own self values, so I can be more committed in my relationship with others, or to one idea,?in order to?reach a desired destination.?I realize that it takes going through some conflicts in order to remove the rough edges, so the diamond that is in here, can be uncovered in its fullness. How I handle the conflicts through communication reveals my Heartmost commitment to honestly living by my values or not.?The conflicts are what draw our attention towards or away from our authentic value system. Revealing our level of authenticity. Do we mean what we say?
…’Love Believes All Things…’ ~ 1 Corinthians 13:7
Are we big enough to do this together by being committed to seeing it through, so that we all reach our Greater Good together?
?I say yes, we are.
A Commitment is an alignment of my words matching my behavior. What I say, I do.?It takes a commitment to show up and be equally?supportive of you in realizing your dreams no matter how I may feel in the moment. Even when I feel like doing something else that appeals to me more,?in the moment. When my emotions aren’t matching my once made promise. I’ve made a promise to you and keeping it?or not,?is seeing whether the rubber meets the road or not. And thank you for being willing to be equally supportive in helping me to?realize my own dreams, even when it is not always convenient to do so. I have come to understand that I must be careful in making a promise, to really be honest if I really do not feel that I can meet a friend’s request, make a commitment. It’s important to be there for someone all in one place, especially?when?the promise is being made.?The commitment is in keeping our word as we have given it. Action matching?~ feeling ~?matching thoughts.
For instance, a friend has?asked us to help them with a?cleaning up their over grown yard?next weekend, the day arrives and lo, another friend calls an hour before?we are to leave, and invites?us to see a movie we have been wanting to see, and we make a choice in this moment. Will we keep our promise to our first friend, by commiting to our word, or will we break our promise, and not follow through on giving our word. A commitment is what allows us to?maintain the integrity of?our word by following through with what we said we would do, no matter what else crops us to?distract us off course. It’s a trait of loyalty and honesty being revealed in our character. What helps when these situations arise, is to ask ourself a question. ‘What is most important to me in this situation. Is it to help my friend as I promised I would, or to choose the fun option, and go see this movie?’?’Do I keep my promise or do I break my promise, and make an excuse?’ Funny thing is, that in breaking the promise, we might just run into our friend we broke the promise to, since we did not show up.?Finding out that?they’ve been wanting to see the same movie too. And this is where open and honest communication can be very uncomfortable, ?yet very necessary for a relationship to be able to build and grow deeper, or not.
Our ability to keep our promises to our self and honor our own word by being committed to seeing it through will be the depth of commitment we have to offer to another in relationship. It’s this understanding that will allow us to recognize the very same character values?in others we choose to have relationships with.
‘Help your brother’s boat across, and Lo! your own has reached the shore.’ ~ Hindu Proverb
I am growing in my ability to recognize?ones, who are?in a healthy place?to grow with,?willing to be?vulnerable and honest,?who communicate with people who are just as committed as I am in honoring their Heart values?by the way they live their life choices outwardly. They treat others as they would have others treat themself.?This builds trust.?We grow in understanding, that while our friend may not always say what?we may want to hear,?we trust, that they will not lie to?us either. Like a plant that is temporarily ‘hurt’- shocked, by the storms, yet, understanding is what allows us to see that storms are what is necessary to straighten and strenghten the plants main stem, to allow it to continue to reach towards the sun and the stars, by making it strong enough, resilient, to continue onwards to fulfill its dream of being a bloom in the Garden of GOD.
A True Friend?will hold our hand while sharing our Hearts together, as?we are both reaching towards the fulfillment of our dreams.
Today, I blossom by being?vulnerable and honest. I?choose?to be open and not?contract,?no longer?hiding in a tight fisted bud.? I unfold into full bloom.
May this?be received in the Spirit with which it is given ~
May this?be received as healthy nourishment, that feeds our Soul’s awareness of God working in us, fostering us into a healthy and wholesome being, in order to fulfill our intended purpose in this life time.? To Live our Life to its?fullest capacity, by becoming True to ourself and with others, to the best of our ability…with a little help from our friends.
May we become?more aware?in our understanding, that God already sees us fully in our bloom.?patiently?awaiting for us to?direct our attention?towards being conscious of God’s Loving Abiding Presence, committed ?in keeping His promise to us, to see us fully through our process, thick and thin, no matter what to bring us to completion of the good work begun in us ~
Blooming?On?In the Never-Ending Light of Love’s Presence,
Grow Seed, Grow into the Fullness of Your True Nature!!!
InJoy this day My Friend, growing?in deeper understanding, that a True Friend Loves You at all times,
Your True Friend InLove,
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