You’ve heard the phrase “Time heals all wounds” before, am I right? What a bunch of BS! From my experience, it can go either way...but time in my opinion isn’t the key ingredient of relationship healing.
Take this scenario: Someone close to you hurts you in a very evil way when you are younger. Now, you’re older...and time has passed. How are you fealing about things now? You might not think about it every second of every day anymore, but if you were to encounter this person again, would you be neutral to happy to see the person? Or would all those feelings of rage, anger, and betrayal come flooding back? That’s not healing.
It has been said that for a behavior to become a habit, it must be done anywhere from 7 to 21 days in a row. While this theory sounds good, I think it complicates the central issue, especially when it comes to relationships.
What I mean is this. In my experience, a habit is formed immediately once a true commitment has been made; not after 7-21 days. It's in the precise moment that one decides to make a change, that change is made. Note, I didn't say when one states a hope or desire to change...but when an actual decision has been made.
Let's talk about this in terms of something really simple, and then let's extend this new concept to our relationships.
I started reading a book called "The ONE Thing" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. It references the movie from 1991 called City Slickers, where the old gruff character named Curly suggests the key to life is to find the ONE thing.
But, it got me thinking about what's MY one thing...and maybe what should YOUR one thing be. This is incredibly important, because life is short and there are seemingly endless things we could be focused on. The book (and our personal lives) makes it pretty clear that we all struggle in this area. Instead of gaining traction in the most important areas of our lives, we end up running on a treadmill like a rat in a cage. Can you relate?
I think we have all heard the wisdom that we should NOT keep score in a relationship. When you are in a tit-for-tat relationship and counting each other's "contribution" to the marriage or relationship, it's easy to get discouraged, frustrated, bitter, angry, resentful, etc. That's because it's impossible to always have a balance of give and take. Now, my contrarian suggestion it to absolutely keep score. Here is what I mean...
This relationship tip is going to come out of left field...hope you enjoy it. So, I wear a Garmin sports watch on my left wrist...and I wear it every second of every day. It counts steps, miles run, bike rides, swims, etc. About once a week I am forced to take it off to charge. I know...I'm a nut. I take my fitness as seriously as I take my relationships. My wife would say I spend a little too much time focused on fitness. Guilty! Anyway, on with the story...
I asked my kids the other day, "What can parents do to connect with kids?" I have three kids, so I got three pretty different answers. This is part 3 of 3. One of my daughters said, "Show your child that you trust them, give them responsibility, and loosen the reigns, and they will feel more connected to you and start to open up more."
Ok, now obviously this is from my 15 year old daughter that is eager to grow into a young adult and is desperately seeking to answer the question "Am I an adult yet?" I think we can take some of that advice at face value...and just accept that reality and realistic desire. But I also think this advice needs some unpacking and exploring. [Read More]
One of my daughters said, "How about playing games that are about the person...to see how well you know them and learn more about them?" I think that is a pretty awesome idea! You combine a fun game with learning more about folks in your family? What could be better?Now, this blog is all about practical, actionable relationship advice. So...[Read More]
I asked my kids the other day, "What can parents do to connect with kids?" I have three kids, so I got three pretty different answers. Now, before I get to their answers I want to share one big concept that might not be completely obvious. One technique I use to connect with my family is to simply ask my kids relevant, thought-provoking questions, such as "What can parents do to connect with kids?" In other words, show a sincere interest in them and their opinions. Why is that important? Well...[Read More]
Is there anything more important than our relationships? Nope! So, why do we neglect them or allow them to die on the vine? I can tell you for me it's just laziness. I take them for granted because I think, hope, and believe they'll just always be there. The problem is that isn't true. Just look around at the broken homes and families and it's plain to see that relationships die if we don't work on them. So, NOW is the time to start building closer relationships. Here are the 5 steps to building closer relationships...[Read More]