We get a lot of joy and happiness from our relationships. I learnt the hard way when I found my once happy relationship slowly disintegrating into frustration, pain and misery and I didn’t know why. I wanted to be right and stood my corner for being right and my husband was in the wrong. Everything would get back to normal if only he admitted to being wrong and apologised. Does this sound familiar? I have since learnt that when one of you is being made to feel wrong both of you will be unhappy. I went on a quest to find a way to bring joy back into our relationship again. On this journey I discovered there were simple ways to find each other and bring joy back as well. The simple investments that you could make are time, showing up, listening and loving.
Time is our most precious gift. It is finite and you need to use it wisely. If you want to build and maintain a relationship with someone you need to invest time in that relationship. The first person you need to give time is yourself. Take time to care for yourself. This is can be by playing, hiking, dancing, and anything that makes you happy or just being. You could use this time to pray, journal or connecting with yourself. Once you have done this you will find it easier to connect and be with other people. Living away from the rest of my family makes it difficult to meet each other in person but we talk on the phone several times per day and this has helped us to stay connected. We also make use of all the technologies that are available to spend time with each other. The effort has been very beneficial. It is not the quantity of time that is required but the quality of time. Sometimes we just huggle* on the sofa chatting and or just being with my girls. This just feeds my soul.
Showing up is very important because it shows you care. Again, you start by showing up for yourself, that is doing things for your best good. Showing up for yourself might include exercising to ensure you are in good health, getting help when you need it and other ways of self care. Showing up for your family and friends is putting yourself in their shoes and being there for them when they need you. Sometimes showing up might mean challenging them to see the damage they might be causing to themselves or to you. This can be difficult to do but when done right, this could transform your relationships to a higher level. You should show up both for joy and in times of trouble. We count on how much we are loved by the numbers of people who show up for our important events.
Being a coach has helped me develop my listening skills. I even hear things that haven’t been said yet or that are being implied. I never used to listen well. I would listen in order to find something I could dispel or defend myself with. Listening is being present to the other person and hearing them is saying they matter to you. When a person is telling you how you have hurt them, what they are really trying to do is to get to a space where both of you feel happy and comfortable in the relationship. This is the only space where the relationship is healthy. I remember I used to spend time with our friends criticising my husband’s tardiness. To me it was just a way of having a conversation and poking fun at him but to him it was a way of putting him down in front of our friends. When I listened to the pain and suffering my words caused and stopped, the transformation to our relationship was truly amazing.
We haven’t explored our capacity for loving yet because we have been living in fear for a long time as human beings. Love is the strongest of power we can have and we all agree on that. Expanding our capacity to love will ensure that our relationships grow and flourish in a way we could never imagine as we haven’t seen yet how far we can go. My challenge for you is to practice loving yourself and other people to a higher level than you have ever done. How far can you go? How high can you get? Would you like to find out? I would love to find out because I believe there is no limit to loving. Why do I believe this, because my husband and I decided to live in a non judgment home. We made a pact that mistakes were natural and normal and they didn’t mean the person didn’t care or intended to hurt the other. I felt so free and so loved during that time. My husband passed away and so the experiment ended and I would like to challenge you to start your own and let me know how you get on. Love is expansive. Let’s expand it.
As you can see above if you take it seriously and invest time, showing up, listening and loving into your relationships they will thrive. Investments give security and a beautiful legacy to you and your loved ones. The added security that is provided to your children and grandchildren who are brought up in a family rooted in these values will be transferred to benefit everyone around you and hopefully spill over to the rest of the world. We deserve to live in a world of love so let us all start investing in love as much as we can. The dividends are priceless and will last a lifetime. The best part is that we don’t have to deprive ourselves of anything now scrimping and saving in order to benefit tomorrow. We can just start benefiting today by practicing living this life we want.
If any of this resonates with you or you would like to know more, please let me know in the comments.
*hug and a cuddle together