There is a season and reason for everything in this life and it is further amplified in our relationships. Seasons don’t really come and go; rather they meander into one another. Spring blossoms into summer, summer transforms into autumn, autumn fades into winter, winter glides into spring.
With each season of a relationship comes change. It’s not the change but the journey that you take while riding the waves of changes. It’s how you manage it while you have the ups and downs.
If you speak with many couples that have been together or married for many years, you will find that part of their cohesiveness is that they have worked through the challenges of their relationships. They have learned how to ride the wave because they always try to come from a position of love. One thing we know for sure is there will always be highs and lows.
The most difficult part is usually the lows. Riding that wave of despair, anger, fear or frustration is hard work. It’s the point where we often want to hang up our hats and walk away. Although, it is at this very moment of your journey when you need to figure out how to maintain and work through it. Receiving love is always important, but don’t forget giving is equally so. There has to be a balance. Even when you are unsure where to turn, who to talk to or which direction to step in – it is essential that you take a step back and look at the situation through loving eyes.
Try to imagine – you are in a cinema and everyone is watching you., Your relationship is the film that is playing. You are standing on the perimeter and you have the ability to direct the film. To decide how it goes and how it plays out.
When you are in it, it is so easy to make judgement or act from a negative place. But if you become the director, suddenly you can ask questions.
“How does the protagonist really feel?”
“What is the underlying truth to the situation?”
“Are you angry about this situation or is this the straw that broke the camel’s back?”
Or perhaps, “You are angry about something else and this is a haunting memory of that time.”
As the director, what if you could say: “Cut! Let’s do that scene again, but this time, be vulnerable, say what you really mean! Ask the tough questions that you may not really want to hear the answers to and be really honest.”
For example, “What would it take to improve or work through our relationship?”
Remind yourself, to be kind about what you say and always come from a place of love, because once a negative or derogative statement has been made – you can’t take it back!
Or what if you rewound the act but decided to be patient. Take a deep breath. Think, breathe, think – re-word your questions in your head. Perhaps, it would be good if you waited a day or two before responding to a situation a thought or an idea that has been running around freely in your head like a three-year-old.
Not only are there challenges in the seasons of relationships, there can also be a lack of communication along with invalid assumptions which create more waves than harmony.
For example, criticising your partner in public or the way a friend may dress, an email you gazed over and assumed it meant one thing when it meant something else. You got the wrong end of the stick – how do you fix that?
Not being open and honest about how you feel regarding a situation is not beneficial to a relationship. Have you said yes to something when you know you should have said no? Has it left an adverse reaction or consequence to your decision-making?
Have you ever experienced an uncomfortable feeling in the presence of a friend’s significant other? How will you chose to handle it?
What about the boss who becomes a bully now that he/she has moved up the ranks? How do you choose to manage up?
There many examples too numerous to discuss in this article. The choice is yours as to how you would handle any of the above situations?
All I ask is for you to look at these five tips:
• Listen intently to the dialogue happening before you
• Be kind to the other person(s) in the relationship, even if you are angry
• Impart patience – it will help not hinder the situation
• Treat your relationships with the love and respect that you desire
• Be mindful of where they are coming from
You can’t expect your relationship to survive if you don’t give it an opportunity to thrive. Try some of the tips above and see how they work for you. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
Michelle from the Joy Spot
F: Joy Spot Coaching