Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday Reflections–How do you fight?

It’s another Sunday that I am reflecting on this weekend and as couples do, we had a moment of disagreement.  This has me thinking about how we you go to battle over different thoughts, ideals or interpretations of things in couplehood?  How do you disagree, be upset or angry and yet still be loving as well?  Is this even possible?

I have read before that how a couple fights is one of the biggest determinations of their success and longevity.  How they speak and react to each other will predict if they will stand the test of time  I have no idea if this is true or not, but I can understand why this would be a large part of a relationship success study.

In an argument; when your feelings are hurt, you feel misunderstood, or you are just plain angry, most of us are not thinking clearly and often not behaving at our best.  How can we make sure our voice or view is heard while still showing respect and care to the one we love?

Having a successful relationship takes a lot of work.  It is not easy and yet I believe our human nature is to fight against this fact.  We want it to be smooth all the time.  We do not desire to argue and disagree or hurt each others feelings.  Human nature is often lazy (although we do not like to believe this; at least I do not) and to have a healthy relationship takes effort, time and energy that we do not always feel like expending.

In evaluating our disagreement post fact and knowing we desire to be among those who are successful in relationships, I thought I would share what I think are the ways to argue in a healthy way with your partner.

  1. Keep voices calm and at normal volume.  I know this may be very tough to do, but this is the person you love, why would you want to yell or scream at them?
  2. Stay committed to the issue at hand.  This can be tough, especially if you are the one who has done something to offend.  Our desire is to fight back; defend our self and take “the heat off us” so to speak.  Turning the argument into another one does not solve the first issue, stay on topic.
  3. Arguing should be done privately. Find a time that you can be alone without children or others.  Never in front of friends or in public.
  4. Stay respectful.  Know and believe that that your partner is desiring the same goal; to have a healthy, loving relationship.  Stay away from attacking each other and use I statements rather than You statements.  If you didn’t study this in school, here is what I mean: An I statement is a way to communicate that focuses on your own feelings or thoughts rather than those characteristics of the recipient.  An example of this would be: “I feel angry when the dishes are often left in the sink rather than put in the dishwasher, it makes me feel unappreciated and that I am the only one that pays attention to cleaning the kitchen.”  This is better than attacking and saying “You never wash the dishes, you do not care about a clean kitchen.” etc.    I know this is very challenging in the beginning, but the more you practice this, it becomes easier and easier.
  5. Forgive and apologize quickly.  Say you are sorry when you do something wrong.  Choose reconciliation over being right.  You are building a partnership, this requires an immense amount of grace for yourself and the one you love.

When we live with any other human we are going to have disagreements.  Living with others can help refine and shape us into our best selves if we let it. Arguments can teach us new things about our partner and give us the opportunity to grow closer.  And in choosing to live your best self; learning, changing and adapting is a requirement.  There will be struggles along the way, but perhaps these few tools will help you if you are navigating this life with another.

Have a blessed day.  Continue in choosing the path that leads you to your best life.

Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections; thinking about love in the time of Covid.

I am having a hard day.  I miss my kids.  I miss going to meet friends.  I miss just being able to walk around a book store (one of my favorite things).  And I am finding the longer this quarantine and stay home order lasts, the toll it can take on our relationships.

As we are home, all together, all hours of all the days, some of us may find this harder than others.  For those that are like me, who need alone time, this time could feel claustrophobic, caged in, overwhelming and these feelings are not very conducive to creating a loving atmosphere.

So this has me thinking about the ease of love.  How easy it is to love one another when we have some space, other activities and things to take up our time.  When we have escapes if you will with our friends or colleagues.  When we see new and different things out in the world that we can bring home and share.  When we seem or our partners seem more interesting. And while there are tough times in all relationships, I think this moment in time has magnified ALL things.  And some of these are tough, not so great.

We are not getting breaks.  We are not seeing other faces.  We do not have a random story to share when we come from work as we work from home all week.  We are stuck together with those we may choose or not choose to be with.  How do you keep loving in the midst of this time?  How do you let this moment bind you together and strengthen you rather than weaken?

As I struggle today, have a headache from too many tears, I am reminded of the love we have in our faith.  I have been listening on repeat to songs that bring me hope, encouragement and strength.  I am reminded that Love casts out Fear.  We have this time to build rather than tear down.  We are getting a gift; although it does not feel like it every day.

Love as an emotion is easy.  It says all the “right’ things, makes you smile and feel good.  It doesn’t take any real strength or action to tell someone you love them.  But I have always viewed love as a verb.  It is more than an emotion.  It has to be tough.  It has to weather storms, battles and disease.  It has to speak truth when your feelings are hurt.  It has to share more than a kiss and hug.  It has to accept sad and happy moments.  It pushes through pain and sorrow and fear.  It has to act in a way of honesty and integrity. If it has the power to cast out fear; then it has the power to bring us strength; to build, to render hope. And in this current season, it has an opportunity to shine through some hard moments.

Loving your family in an all day, everyday, feeling way is easy.  But in this unexpected time we are living in across the world right now, it has required us to get very real with our actions.  It has shown me how much harder this is to do when we are all together all the time.  When each one is processing loss and sadness.  When at times there are just too many people and meals and needs.

Each one of us is handling this time differently and we all have different ways we need to receive love.  Today for me that meant pouring my grief, frustrations, pain all out on this man I share my life with.  And him trying very hard to show me love back when I can imagine I was not that lovable.  But that is what love does; it accepts all.  All the ugly moments.  All the good.  And in this time of uncertainty and loss; we can choose to see the moments “stuck at home” as an opportunity to grow in our love.  Love can handle the honesty, it can handle the sorrow and the pain.  It can handle being quarantined if we let it.

I hope that wherever you are you are loved.  I hope you have someone who holds you even when your eyes hurt to stay open because they have cried too many tears.  I hope this time strengthens your relationships.   And if alone, know that none of us are ever truly alone.  We are all going through this human experience; we are in this together.

Keep holding onto love.

 

 

Posted in Wordy Wednesday

Wordy Girl Wednesday–The house that builds us

I’ve been thinking about houses the past few days. Why we choose the ones we do. How we decide the”right”one for our family or possible future family.  How we determine what spaces are the most important and what we must have; like the best kitchen or bathroom, etc.

Having owned a few homes, lived in apartments and now rent a house, I have a lot of experience in this area. Since I’ve been divorced I’ve lived in at least 9 different places. All in the same area. Almost all different sizes.

I have often voiced the thought of how having a smaller home helps love grow. In a home that’s large with lots of options to escape each other perhaps you don’t work things out as readily as a small home requires. So I find I like living in a space that is smaller but open, that requires us to work through issues quickly. It’s challenging to hide your feelings when you have no where to escape to. Even when the space becomes crowded I would still choose our smaller home to the big homes I’ve had in the past.

It’s cozy and warm. It’s open and bright. And our family and friends feel welcome. The size of the home isn’t what matters but what you fill it up with. Who more importantly. I’m hopeful the houses I’ve resided in raise up children who feel loved and ready to explore the world. That my partner feels encouraged and supported in his endeavors and that we thrive as a team.

The house you prefer will look different than mine. And my needs for what my home provides will change. For now these rooms are filled with what we need in this season. I believe love and harmony grow best when relationships are watered and fed. When we communicate and listen with each other.  And I find that no matter what your house looks like, it is the folks that you live with that create the home.

May you feel blessed today.  May you love the home you are building.

I would love to hear from you; what is your favorite space in your house? Do you prefer tiny or large?

Posted in General

Healthy relationships; a few items that are required in my view

I’m all about relationships these days. Perhaps it’s finally finding my perfect for me partner. Perhaps it’s getting engaged and focusing on creating our future. Or it’s that I’m very content and happy in this life, having learned what it takes to create a life I love.

I’ve been pondering on whether or not to make this post; because in some ways this topic is subjective. We each may see good but not necessarily healthy.

So I preface this with stating these are my views of what healthy is. What are must haves. What is required. How healthy looks to me.

After leaving a mentally abusive environment and taking the time to heal and figure out my part in the drama, I was open to finding real love. I committed to doing the work on myself so I could be capable of a healthy relationship.

And in doing that work the past few years, I’ve learned some things. Here are 5 Signs of a healthy relationship:

1. You know yourself. You love yourself. By this I mean, you are confident in what you want, what your needs are and know you’re worth having those met. You continue to grow and learn so that you’re becoming a better partner all the time.

2. You respect your partner and they respect you. This in an action word. Healthy partners speak to each other respectfully. Behave respectfully. Actions and words of respect are vital.

  • 3. You can be alone. Your partner can be alone. Choosing to have some independence in the midst of a partnership is important. You may come together as a couple but you are still an individual. Having your own goals and dreams are just as important as the ones you have together.
  • 4. You can compromise. Having a long term relationship requires the ability to put another’s needs as equally important as your own. Accepting that your partner is not you, bring their own point of view of how things are to be done and background story is vital to learning how to meet in the middle.

    5. You trust each other. Not just in the way of commitment, but in sharing of yourself. Trusting that my partner genuinely desires the best for me. For us. Showing the same. Believing being together makes us better people than apart.

    These all seem so simple and obvious when reading this list. And they really are. I could add many more items as well. But the tough part is in the action. Loving and sharing a life with someone requires work. Requires commitment to that work. A healthy relationship isn’t free from stress, tough moments, or angry moments. But it is one of committed actions to show you love and care for each other. It’s building a partnership.

    I was taught love is a verb. Having had more unhealthy than not, it’s an amazing experience to be in a healthy relationship.

    In creating the best life for yourself, learning what you need to be healthy personally, is the first step. Once you can be healthy independently, you have the ability to learn how to be healthy and loving in a partnership.

    My best life includes a partner. After many years alone it’s an amazing feeling to have a partner who shows love in action. Who helps create a life I love everyday. Who helps me be my best self.

    What do you see as your best life? Wether or not it includes a partner doesn’t matter. We are always capable of learning and growing so we have good relationships with whomever we encounter.

    May you keep working at being healthy. At building a life you love.

    Posted in quotes

    Do you have the courage?

    I have this quote below on my wall page as it’s a favorite of mine. We so often let fear dictate our choices; often without realizing that it is a driving force.

    I made a decision a few years ago that I would not let fear guide me. Sometimes it’s a daily commitment; depending on the topic or the decision I might be facing. Other times it’s just a quiet voice I don’t really hear but it’s still there.

    I am possibly a bit of a control freak. By that I mean I am usually the one in charge and have all my ducks in a row. But the downside to that is there is no risk. There is no courage.

    If I’m always in charge, avoiding conflict or making mistakes, I’m not actually moving forward. It’s like sitting in the boat anchored to the same spot again and again.

    Being afraid to never make a mistake. Or have your feelings hurt. Or admitting you’re wrong or need assistance; all keeps you stuck.

    This quote has a new meaning for me today as I’m looking at it through eyes of relationship conflicts. Whether it be with your partner or children or coworkers. If you’re afraid to have difficult conversations; fearful to speak your mind, don’t want to rock the boat; you might not get to see the beauty that you could be heading towards. You could miss out on whatever is right behind the next bend.

    I’ve often only thought of this quote in terms of adventures. Travels. New job ventures. But re-framing this to apply to the context of relationships; it’s also very true. We have to be willing to risk, to push fear aside with those we love. We must get vulnerable and honest. When we do, when we let go of control, lose sight of the shore; we open ourselves up to an ocean of beauty. To Joy.

    I hope you find your courage today to take risks. Push past fear. Have a difficult conversation. Try something new. Let this quote speak to you. Whatever your “shore” is; may you be willing to go beyond it.