Denali's peak is so high it is a rare sighting. Most of the time it is covered by clouds. Exploring and looking for it from multiple angles (road trips) creates memories.
Ever notice how remembering good things and sharing those memories further builds relationships? On the other hand, bringing up the past to remind, belittle, or to hold mistakes against someone can cause separation within relationships.
We choose daily how we live and treat others, one encounter at a time. Building bridges in relationships can involve making personal choices. Letting go of negative encounters quickly, not responding to rudeness, and even setting an example of being kind, encouraging, and doing “good” during difficult situations are all choices we can make.
Most of us have been the victim of someone’s unjust condemnation of past mistakes that cannot be changed. Each of us have also been the recipient of grace at some point and time in life.
As individuals we have levels of tolerance and a logical understanding that no two people do, act, or live the same exact way. Each day provides an opportunity for us to let go of yesterday’s frustrations and failures and look toward a better future.
Relationships we value need a commitment of “for better or worse”. A mindset of hoping for the better while enduring the worst (negative encounters) at times is sometimes necessary. No one is perfect, we all go through difficult times, and hopefully experience periods of personal growth throughout our life time.
Relationships where negativity, invalidation (never feeling as if you can do anything right), or frequent oppositional encounters occur can foster feelings of resentment and discontentment. Negative communication hurts people and harms relationships.
Being only human, we all have breaking points. A relationship is in danger when negativity becomes the new standard of normal. To just assume a relationship can and will survive emotional abuse and long term negative encounters is an unrealistic expectation.
Restoration of the good we feel about or toward someone and a relationship can happen as communication improves, behaviors change, promises are kept, new encounters occur, and positive relationship memories continue to form.
Finding a balance of holding people to standards of excellence and setting limits, that further protect relationships, is also sometimes necessary. Encouraging one another, to be the best in life, in word and action can be done in many different ways. Being real and also speaking truth in love is sometimes necessary when we care about people and relationships
Also, when we know the good we ought to do we sometimes have to make a choice to just do it, regardless of personal feelings. Letting go of the past and looking for the good shows people we care and value relationships.
We can be gracious, show kindness, forgive quickly, and show love toward others. We will also sometimes need to choose to view life (in difficult times) as good enough as we make decisions, work and look toward an even better future.
Life can be difficult. Having relationships with others who share life with us is a blessing that should not be taken for granted. Treasuring friend and family relationships we have been blessed with is important. Steadfast relationships contribute to our feelings of long-term happiness and support.
We can choose with each word and action to better appreciate and treasure the people we are blessed to share life with.
Visit RealLifeRelationships.org to learn more about dealing with life and building better relationships. Our self-guided course books Loving Yourself, Loving Others, Reconciling Through Love, and the book Love Forever are available through the website or directly through Amazon.com.