I’m glad you decided to join me for the next 20 days! Relationships are the essence of life! Relationships offer joy, comfort, solace, laughter, friendship, hope and so much more! Relationships also come with pain, feelings of betrayal, misunderstandings or sometimes loss of crucial relationships…
We all know relationships aren’t perfect. Anyone who says they have a perfect relationship is either a liar, living a lie or truly naive. Now I know that sounds harsh, but the truth of the matter is perfection does not exist. When we expect perfection, we have automatically set that relationship up for failure. Why? Because NO ONE is perfect! Unfortunately we live in a society that has allowed us to believe that perfect people exist. We have to be the ones to break this cycle, because we are damaging our relationships.
How do we break the cycle? Offer one another grace! Offering grace means coming to a place of real forgiveness when our spouse, child, parent or friend makes a mistake. Real forgiveness is tough! It doesn’t come easy and it requires you to let go of something you may feel justified in being upset about. I get it! I have been in a place where I have been forced to truly forgive from the heart. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight. I had to realize that the person would have to live with their decisions and my being upset about it had absolutely no effect on them. However, it began to consume me. I couldn’t stand to be around that person. I couldn’t even enjoy events if that person was there. Finally, I came to a point where I realized it was useless to hold onto anger.
I didn’t get to that point alone. I had people around me who loved me and helped me to realize that I needed to let go. I needed to release myself from the control this person had over me. I needed to move on and live my life.
Offering grace could also mean realizing that people don’t communicate exactly like you. This means wires get crossed, misunderstandings happen and arguments will follow. Communication is one of the biggest barriers in relationships. This is why much of this series will focus on how we communicate with each other.
For the next 20 days we will focus on communication in your marriage, communication between a parent/child, forgiveness after abandonment and/or violence and aggression, recovery from trauma and handling relationships from a spiritual perspective. Going through this series may not be easy, especially if you intend to try some of the suggestions. There will be days that you will have to take a look in the mirror and confront your own issues.
There are things in the series that may be helpful to hear even if you’re not in this situation. It is important to know that you do not have to complete all of the challenges or discussions over the course of the next 20 days. In reality, most people won’t be able to and that is just fine. This series will be posted for you to refer to when you are ready to get started or pick up where you left off. If you have someone in your family that is facing one of these issues, it might be helpful to hear things from their perspective. Or use it to start a discussion with your family member to see if they feel completely opposite of the interviewed person.
The point of this series is to start talking! Open up the lines of communication and start (or continue) doing the work it takes to maintain the relationships around you!
Every action you take, no matter how small, counts towards building a better, healthier, sustainable relationship! Keep me posted on how things are going! I would love to hear from you!
Stay tuned for a GIVEAWAY at the end of this series!
Tomorrow’s post: Creating a Safe Space