In my home, I have a number of houseplants scattered throughout the windowsills, floor, tables and stands. I love having them around because they bring life and color into a room. But they take work. Every few days, I check to see if the soil needs water. Every few weeks, I give them plant food. And every few years, I transfer them into a bigger pot. Over time, I’ve learned my plants have preferences, some like to be in direct sunlight and others like to be in shade. I’ve also found they tend to flourish in health and strength when I talk to them sweetly… so I talk to my plants often.
Just like houseplants, relationships bring life and color into our lives. But it takes work. We need to put physical time, emotional energy and mental capacity into it. Without this effort, our relationships resemble an artificial plant – fake and lifeless.
Usually when people are dissatisfied with their relationships they may use the term the grass is greener on the other side. The ‘other’ side being happier, fulfilling and abundant. But I believe if they channel that energy in maintaining their own lawn, it would be just as vibrant and green too. But I understand that sometimes, it’s easier to compare and complain rather than put the work into it.
Every relationship takes a lot of work, sacrifice and love. Strong, healthy, long lasting couples and friendships don’t just magically ‘happen,’ they take time to cultivate and flourish. Here are a few ways to build your relationship:
Make right choices despite how you feel
Accept them without trying to change them
Be there through the ups and downs – good times and bad
Choose to love them especially when the feelings aren’t there
Talk, listen and engage actively
Be honest with them even though it’s hard
Patiently figure out the heart of the issue in conversations
Accept and understand the other person’s point of view
Have fun together
Have common interests
Make time for each other in person, by phone or by computer
Physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological, or intellectual connection
Honor them by accepting who are
Celebrate the things that matter to them
Look out for their best interest and well-being
Meet spoken and unspoken needs (emotionally or practically)
Relationships are like investments that will grow over time. And the return will be substantial as it will nourish our souls and enrich our lives. It’s the connection we make with another soul that draws us deeper mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
May your days be richer and fuller because of the colorful relationships that bring life, love and joy to you. And in turn, may you paint a colorful canvas on someone else’s life.
© 2012 Susie Lee
Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.