Our Family Reformation Conference begins October 6th, 2016. #lovethatreforms Register Here
Five steps to powerful relationships
Lay a foundation of unconditional loveNot having this as our foundation will ultimately void any and all effort we put into a relationship. People were made to be loved, not used. We can give them everything else; money, fame, recognition- These might even seem to work for a little while, but when reality sinks in, and we start to realize that our relationship is void of unconditional love, nothing will be able to fill that crater. All the other relationship tools will feel forced, like another project you started that you must get done before its due date. Learn how to receive unconditional love. Practice it. Then take the time to really love. Go the extra mile to be present. Don’t allow your relationships to be reduced to another task on your agenda.
Show UpMany people hide behind an inner statement that says, “Life is just too hard. I can’t be myself because I’m always rejected.” This pitfall will certainly keep you at arms length of any genuine relationship. Love cannot show up until you do. It’s in you showing up, that love has permission to emerge. Learn how to express YOU. Do you know what you need? Express that. Many of our relationships have been built around us telling the other person about them. We begin with, “Let me tell you about yourself since you obviously don’t know yourself as well as I do.” We even start conversations with, “Listen to my heart”, or “No offense, but…” And then we proceed to be offensive and judge other person, cutting them up one side and down the other, never finding the true courage to share from our hearts about us. Because in our hearts, to that is too vulnerable. We think, “Well, if I never show up then I can’t get rejected again.” Not true. But one thing is for certain; you’ll never really live again. We fail to realize that it is in the honest conversations where we share the real US that the power to build authentic relationships shows up. Rejection is not the worst thing in the world. A life without love is. Next time you’re tempted to open a conversation a “you” statement, stop yourself. Share yourself instead. Share your heart.
Seek to understandThe opposite side of the coin is living with the courage to allow other people to show up. For those of us who have no problem sharing what is on our hearts, sometimes we need a little practice to hear, see, and understand other people. Relationships can’t be one-sided. If they are, you don’t really have a relationship, you have an “imaginary friend.” Some of us learned early that if we didn’t quickly take control of a relationship, someone else would. Control is our mechanism for feeling safe, but when safety is the ultimate goal of a relationship, we will actually sacrifice love and life for whatever “feels” the safest. An extraordinary thing takes place when we allow people to be completely themselves in our presence. Freedom shows up. Our “imaginary friends” become real friends. Real friends can hurt us, but they can also love us. When we “show up” in a relationship and seek to understand the other person, life begins to emerge. It is not controllable. But that is ok. It is messy. But it is love.
Don’t own other people’s problemsThis is a hard one. Most people think that we really don’t care about people until we own their problems. This is a fundamental problem in co-dependent relationships. We don’t know the point where we end, and someone else begins. This can also be a way to avoid our own problems. After all, if we spend the whole day owning our friends’ dysfunctions it may distract us from our own. God gives us the grace to overcome OUR issues. He doesn’t give us the grace to overcome SOMEONE ELSE’S issues for them. We actually handicap people when we remove their problems for them and then act like the hero; We teach them that they are incapable of self-control. Meanwhile, our life is completely chaotic because we’re not exemplifying self-control either. When we’re too busy controlling someone else’s life for them, we don’t have time or energy to live our own. There are things in life that are worse than pain. One of them is living an impotent life because others never let us live with the consequences of our decisions. When we can embrace both our failures and successes, and know in the midst of it that we’re loved, celebrated and powerful to make decisions, we learn to really live,
Bond around something greater than a Mission StatementOnce we have begun building authentic relationships, this crazy thing begins to emerge. PURPOSE. A life without purpose is shaky. Healthy relationships will always produce fruit. That’s how God created us. We begin dreaming together, producing something amazing together. Soon, life is full of the produce of our genuine and authentic relationships. Let’s just remember that our goals and tasks are never the ultimate purpose. When we elevate the fruit of our relationship above our love for each other we will soon see the fruit begin to spoil and the relationship whither. Our invitation is to always put connection before fruit. Connection to God, and connection to people. Don’t believe the hype of momentary success. Keep your eyes on the relationships that produced it. In doing so we are ensuring a lifetime of fruit as the product of a life of genuine relationships full of love.
Join us this October for our Family Reformation ConferenceRegister Here