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Realigning our relationships

Relationships are after all the fundamental building block which determines our connectedness - who we influence, the extent to which we can influence and how others impact our life.

If we are honest, we have lost some really valuable friends, relationships due to our carelessness or sheer ignorance as to the purpose of such people in our life. For some of us it maybe a pattern we need to break and be done with so we can experience the fullness of our purpose in life.

A few things I’d like to share

1) Be “alarmingly” honest with yourself about where you are emotionally: I think being a technologically savvy generation we have taken emotions for granted. Do we even know what that means anymore, to take the time to analyse how we feel about a conversation, a situation, a confrontation, a break up, an unfaithful partner, a divorce, an abusive situation, loss of a job, loss of a loved one or are we too busy trying to catch up and fit in on social media platforms (keeping up with the Joneses). We appear to be relating, socializing but the one person we need to relate with, we have ignored for too long – ourselves. For some of us, it may just be too painful to do so we prefer to hide in other interactions. It takes a lot of courage to deal with our emotions and they need to be dealt with for a healthy you to be.

- The first thing you must understand is that your emotions do not control you unless you let them so there is nothing to be afraid of. Make your emotions your loyal subjects. Imagine the Queen of England holding court regularly, telling everyone what to do and how to act. You are Queen/King and your emotions are subject to you. There is a reckoning with emotions that needs to happen in every season of our life resulting in a lighter heart and much brighter days.

- Half the time the squabbles that evolve in new/existing relationships are as a result of residual hurt, disappointments, fear from past relationships or circumstances left unattended to. No one can change the past so I think the easier option is actually to let it go! Be present. See now. See the future. The only way we can really enjoy the now is when our burden is light. Allow God teach you the rhythms of His grace (Matt 11:29)

2) Humility: None of us know everything so as often as we can, we should seek to learn rather than assuming the posture of teacher, counsellor and/or dare I say “dictator” which will result in the other party being undermined. A relationship

is always about giving and taking. Sometimes though what we take is not as obvious as what we give and vice versa. So let’s be careful about thinking all that we know is enough or on the other hand, thinking that what we know isn’t enough in a given situation. It is OK to allow the other party act as the barometer of your potency. Whether the result is good or bad, it will contribute to building muscle power within you if you let it (which goes back to my first point, processing your emotions properly a keen to processing feedback).

3) Identify what you can, want and then should give into the relationship or partnership you are about to form or are maintaining. They are actually 3 separate things.

- What you can give which may not be required at that time. I have found in situations where a friend shares a burden with me and I knew I could tell them something which could change their perspective. Yet at the same time I realized from their mind-set in that conversation they were not ready to hear it and even if they heard it they would not receive it. Have you ever found yourself in that situation? You had the answer for them but you also knew you weren’t required to give it to them at that particular moment because they were still far along in the process of healing or anger or whatever they were dealing with. And how many times have you gone ahead and given them that thing and watched it blow up in your face? Be honest. Just because you can feed a child ice cream morning, afternoon and night to get peace and quiet doesn’t mean that is exactly the right thing to do.

- What you want to give which you may not have the capacity to give. You could have a situation requiring your financial assistance or some amount of time from your day. It may be you don’t have enough available even though you would like to give more. The sensible thing to do is take stock of what you can honestly give and sometimes you might need to pray seriously about it and other times you know instantly what needs to be done which could involve delegation or referral. Bottom-line, let’s consider the capacity we have available so we are not overdrawn. As individuals who are a part of families, corporate organisations, church teams, community groups etc. we have demands on time and resource which we are sometimes unable to meet at the same time even though we may desire to. What we want to give is often a reflection of the measure of faith given to us for that particular season and we should be careful as we tackle this so our relationships are managed properly. I am not advising you not to do “what you want to do” but that you have considered it carefully. I strongly believe God is perfectly aware of our personal circumstances and would not put on us more than we could bear.

- What you should give. This is probably the one sensible, powerful and loving thing to do in that moment or season. So take time to discern the difference. This may also have an overlap with “what you want to do”. The effects of a sensible, powerful and loving thing to do will far outlast any other thing you can do for a person even when you as a person no longer have direct relationship with them and I think that is the kind of impression we want to leave in people’s lives.

Be blessed!

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