Posts Tagged ‘nuturing relationships’

Celebrate Small Steps

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Celebrate and focus on the small steps you take each day as you move forward. Minimize the setbacks.

Getting Burned & Life Lessons

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

One time when my oldest son was two I was standing at the kitchen stove just starting dinner.  I turned the front burner on. My son came up to the stove and I told him “Hot don’t touch, it will hurt. No!”

He looked at me and said “Hot!”

I said “That’s right, hot!”

He looked at the burner then looked at me, looked at the burner, then looked at me again.  With no warning what-so-ever he firmly placed his hand right on it! In the same instant came his blood curdling scream and me picking him up. I dashed out of the kitchen him in my arms to take care of the burn repeating, “Hot, hot, I told you hot!”

Well, I may have told him hot but he didn’t understand hot until he felt hot on his hand! He definitely learned about hot after that incident. Fortunately the stove burner wasn’t on high or even medium heat but it was hot enough to burn his hand and as a result he never touched a stove burner again.

Lesson learned. Stove burners are hot. Place your hand on one and you’ll get burned.

For me, there have been situations in my life where it took more than one experience to learn a lesson. There have been times when despite red flags, warnings, and incidents where it was clear I needed to pay attention, I repeatedly didn’t learn.  Instead I wished and hoped and prayed things would work out.  I often ignored my gut instincts opting to second guess myself instead. So it went like this:

Lesson not learned. Repeat lesson.

Lesson not learned. Repeat lesson again…

I would rather confidently say, I know what is best for me

than after the fact say…

I was afraid that would happen!


I’m not comfortable with that

rather than…

Oh, I guess it will be okay.

When we think about what we want, we really do know.

And if we really are unsure in a given situation then what we’re really saying is no.

How many times does it take to learn one life lesson?

As many times as we allow it to take.

There are some lessons we don’t want to repeat more than once because these lessons take a toll on us.

So the next time you come into contact with a hot burner and you’ve already felt the pain pay attention to the voice that tells you to turn your back and walk away.


Being Where You’re Supposed to be and Knocking on Doors

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Have you ever wondered if where you are is where you should be?

I mean, we can wonder about everything we do and the decisions we make as it relates to us and the truth is we’ll probably never know for sure if we’ve got it all exactly right. So if we weren’t where we are now, where else would we be? What would we do? Who would be in our lives? What would life look like?

We all have times when we question our direction. Yet if we are spiritual (and that is certainly different for everyone) have faith in that spirituality and are moving forward by living life in a way we feel good about, we’re most definitely on a positive path.

If I were homeless, with no means of support, no friends or family near by—I would have serious doubts about whether or not I was in the right place. In fact I’d make a point of doing whatever I could to change my situation by coming up with a plan and working on it daily.

There have been times in my life when I’ve faced setbacks and have struggled economically, emotionally, and spiritually. Each time has been frustrating primarily because I didn’t know for sure if the smart move was to stay on my current path or choose a different one.

Sometimes we are fearful or uncertain no matter what we do. The goal at this point is to move forward every single day by gathering information setting goals and eventually getting our nerve up to knock on a few doors. We might get to the first one and it slams in our face. That’s okay, we just try another one. If we get the same result we continue to try again and again and again.

Some decide it’s too discouraging so abandon knocking on any more doors. Others keep trudging on. Not giving up is the American way, right? Sure staying the course despite rejection builds character yet at some point it’s a good idea to step back and consider whether it’s possible we’re trying to open the wrong doors. (more…)

Small Steps/Big Impact in New Relationships with Ourselves

Monday, January 30th, 2012

It took awhile to make changes that would help move me toward a better life. I kept thinking I would need to take big leaps but wasn’t comfortable with sweeping change so consequently waited longer than I really needed to. Eventually I realized that being patient works best and that small steps usually have the most impact.

There was a time years back when I knew I definitely wanted to take a step forward. In fact I knew I absolutely had to if I valued my life. I found out about a domestic violence support group which met in my local area on Thursday evenings. I thought about going to one of those meetings for months.

I kept trying to build up courage to go to a meeting and then would change my mind. I rationalized staying home by convincing myself it was more work to go than it was worth and that I wouldn’t gain much anyway. I weighed the pros and cons for months. Finally I told myself—you’re going to the next meeting no matter what! (more…)

Hit & Miss versus Conscious & Intentional

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

We are blessed to have the ability and freedom to make many choices in our daily lives. We decide what we’re going to do with each new day.

We also have the opportunity to make choices when it comes to dating. We might decide to meet new friends at a local club or other night spot. Maybe we take a class, learn to dance, or take part in sports activities in hopes of meeting new people. We can choose to search through online dating profiles and send a wink or drop a line. After all, we’re the choosers and we make choices!

Since we have the opportunity to make dating choices, how do we do it? Do we use a hit and miss selection process or do we make conscious and intentional choices? With hit and miss we may not dig too deep in our early screening process. We might be satisfied if the guy is attractive, charming, has sex appeal, and is employed. He might also have a great smile, is initially attentive, and seems witty and clever. We might think, okay—why not, let’s give it a shot! So we get involved quickly and two or three months down the road this man who was once hanging on our every word barely hears anything we say. He might even drop not so subtle hints he’s moving on by playing U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For when we’re within ear shot or maybe has disappeared altogether. Oh boy… (more…)

Loved Ones Taking a Back Seat to New Relationships

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

This should never happen but it happens every day. It happened to me once and although it took longer than it should have I shook myself out of the daze I was in and woke up.

Those of us who find ourselves in relationships we become compulsive about talk ourselves into believing these relationships are healthy and good for us. We can’t see or refuse to see that we don’t have our priorities straight.

We think about what we want right now.

We think we must make our new relationship partner our number one priority or we’ll lose them.

If the only way to maintain a new relationship is to put everyone else in our lives on the back burner we’re preparing a recipe for disaster. It’s not necessary to let a new person monopolize our thoughts and time and if this is what we do we’re not ready for that new relationship.

We’re off balance. We’re looking for companionship at the cost of our loved ones. We stand to lose respect from our children, parents, siblings, friends, the new person, and us.

When I experienced this and forced myself to pay attention, I could feel the despair in my heart and see it in the eyes of my children.

If you have experienced urgent intimacy you know it’s a tough spot to be in but at the same time you also know you don’t have to be there. We make this choice and we can just as easily decide to take our time rather than  speed up the process.

New relationship partners worth having will respect us if we respect and value the relationships we already have in our lives. There’s no need to create urgent intimacy. There is a need to nurture our current relationships and grow new ones over time.

Have you experienced urgent intimacy? What are your thoughts about this?

The Power of Words

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Children learn from adults to say “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” These words are taught in order to lessen the pain inflicted on them by other children.

Children can be hurt deeply by words! A school or community playground can become a place to dread where the young can be left permanently scarred by spiteful or mindless chatter.

Words have the energy and power to heal or maim; to comfort or destroy. A few choice words can start or end a friendship. Arguments, fights, divorces, feuds, and wars start because of words. Sometimes we carry pain with us throughout life because of words spoken to us that we never forgot. The way words are said makes a difference too. They can soothe or attack. We can direct pleasantries toward those we like and curse words toward those we don’t.

Children and adults alike are hurt or helped by the words we speak. We can absolutely and positively make or break another person’s day. We can build them up or tear them down with just a few choice words.

Choose your words carefully.

Talk is Not Cheap in Relationships

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

You’ve most likely heard the expression talk is cheap. It definitely doesn’t apply to relationships. If anything it’s a commodity. Without talk a relationship is destined to die.

Sometimes, especially in the beginning, talk is hard to come by. People feel their way as they create conversation in order to find common ground. Some conversations last just a few seconds, simple words, light and breezy. Others can be meatier and last hours.

Talk is good.  Not necessarily idle chatter but sincere communication heals our souls and keeps the brain active and stimulated.

Talking about common interests, activities, current events, ideas, travel, dreams, goals, and plans usually put people at ease. When it gets right down to it, all of our relationships are a series of conversations.

Great relationships don’t just happen–they’re created and one of the primary ingredients is talk. Talk is wonderful music to the ears. It has great value. It’s like physical exercise—the more you do the better you get and the more you look forward to it.

If you find it tough to involve another person in conversation, keep trying. As the conversation starts to flow,  you’ll become more comfortable and start looking forward to it. If you run across someone who seems turned off by a meaningful exchange take note of it. If you are dating and conversation comes hard a safe bet is to ask the other person about themselves–most people love to talk about their views activities hobbies etc. Guard against overwhelming your partner. Too much question and answer conversation for hours at a time is too much to deal with. Shorter meaningful conversations have a greater impact over time.

To keep a relationship going keep the lines of communication flowing.

Love and Kindness

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.   – Barbara De Angelis

The Strong are Gentle

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.–Leo Buscaglia