So I messed up. It was my wife’s birthday this week and, again, I came up way short. Not that she complained but others around me made sure they pointed out the errors of my ways. I would think that at my age I would have learnt. Not so. (Speaking of age, she is actually older than me now. Happens 4 months of the year and I make sure she never forgets.) So how do we treat the relationships we have. Take them for granted? Abuse them? Take advantage of them? Perhaps all of the above.
It has been said that “relationships provide us with identity, purpose and direction. In essence, relationships and therefore community is a life giving, life defining, life nurturing process”. In other words, relationships keep order in our lives. They keep us centered. So what is the best way to cultivate old and new relationships?
Communication is huge. Naturally, when you do not communicate the person or people, you are in a relationship with, have no idea what is going on. I am reminded of the couple who were not on speaking terms. When he went to bed at night he realized he would need to get his wife to wake him as he had an early flight to catch. So he put a note by her side of the bed asking her to wake him. When he woke up in the morning he realized that he had slept in and missed his flight. He was about to fly off the handle when he saw a note on his side of the bed which simply said, “it’s time to get up”. Not very effective.
Communication is a two way street. When people we love do not have honest and forth right communication with us we feel hurt and rejected. Always second guessing and never being sure of what really is going on in their lives. When that happens relationships suffer.
Other times it takes an effort to understand what the other person is saying. We all view the world in a unique way and often when we see what people close to us are doing or saying, we fail to understand. We jump to conclusions and assume the worst. (do I need to remind you what happens when we assume?) We need to be curious, open minded and prepared to explore, when people close to us talk or act in ways that we don’t understand. It may sound difficult. You will be surprised at the warm feeling you get when you are able to share what you are thinking. The feeling you get when both of you seek to understand.
Getting back to my wife’s birthday. I am trying to redeem myself. Have invited some neighbors for a bbq on Saturday. Note to self. Have to pick up a cake. Now I wonder, will my wife cook the meal? Make it a good one.