Search
Recommended Sites
Related Links






   

Article Content

A Kernel of Truth about Relationships: 5 steps to improvement


“It’s all about relationships!” proclaimed my father during our recent holiday visit with my parents. Santa Claus coffee cup in one hand and a wagging finger toward my wife, Elizabeth, with the other. “When you retire, that’s what you realize is most important in life” (okay, so that’s not him in the photo).

Dad recently retired from 30+ years as an orthopedic surgeon and the major shift in lifestyle seems to have brought about a significant shift in his outlook on life. For me, his statement about relationships became much broader and more profound than I thought such a simple and reasonable statement could ever become.

At first look, it makes sense that relationships are vital to our lives. Whether it is friendship, dating, marriage, family or community, relationships with others are a part of our everyday life. They give us belonging, meaning, companionship, intimacy and love. But, pulling back from this view and taking a broad gander at the subject I realized that relationships are more than just meaningful interactions with people. When we “relate” or interact with something we are, in fact, in relationship with it. For instance, our relationship with work, our relationship with ourselves, our relationship with our health and our relationship with our spirituality. By defining relationships from this broader perspective, our relationship list becomes almost endless.

You see, when we look at our relationships, we look at our interaction with every part of our lives; people, places, things, and events. So, what is our relationship to our work, ourselves, our environment, our health, our spirituality? How do we relate to these things? Or, better yet, if it is “all about relationships” how are our most important relationships?

Coming from the psychotherapy world, I often helped couples, families and individuals improve personal relationships by working through a series of 5 questions. Once I broadened my definition of relationships, I found that these questions are applicable to all types of relationships. The questions go something like this:

/>

1. What relationships do you value most?

Be clear about what you value and which relationships are truly priorities to you.

2. Why do you value them?

Understanding the value these relationships have for you underscores the importance of the relationship and clarifies why a relationship “feels” important.

3. How do you nourish each relationship?

Now that you’ve identified how and why a relationship is important, you must define what it is that you do to keep that relationship alive and growing.

4. How do you maintain your commitment through the tough times?

Are the divorce stats really any different from the number of other relationships that end in our own lives (i.e., dropping the diet, “forgetting” exercise, leaving job after job, putting personal goals and dreams on hold, getting around to the God/spiritual thing when you have more time, etc)? These relationships may not necessarily be a marriage but like a marriage these relationships have their challenging times. Similar to a marital relationship, we must work through the difficult times in our other relationships rather than set them aside until a better time or just plain hope the struggles go away. This is often the point at which my coaching clients seek my assistance.

You will inevitably find that nurturing these relationships is often like a juggling act. Though, once we identify the key relationships in our lives and begin relating with them rather than leaving them on our “To Do” list, we will soon find that balance in life is an attainable goal and that, in fact, life truly is all about relationships.

Robert A. Eubanks, Ph.D. is a personal coach whose mission is to help others balance their lives, achieve personal goals and begin living their passions. For a complimentary coaching session or more information about coaching, go to www.bridgetosolutions.com or call 561-385-9184.


bridgetosolutions@yahoo.com



Written by: Dr. Robert A. Eubanks

Informative Articles

Care And Maintenance Of The Human Hard Drive
The human brain is very much like a hard drive. If you stop to think of it, they are both filled with billions of tiny bits of information, stored in the memory cells just waiting to be accessed. They both use electrical energy to...

Cure Panic Attacks
There are many ways to treat panic disorder and some people claim to be able to cure panic attacks. I have suffered from both GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and Panic Disorder. I have been able to stop my panic attacks for about a year now. I...

Sinister plot to immortalize Arafat's teachings and leadership, or sentimental goodbye among those who live for death?
"People on this night are going to be on several different levels. No doubt we are on the lowest level, so we are hoping in this night to attain the honor and illumination granted in it. When we reach a higher level and as it is a holy night in the...

The Religious Rule
O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their...

These Are The Signs Of The Times
It seems like everywhere you turn these days, extreme stress and high anxiety are the norm and joy of life is the exception. Sure, we have our “toys.” The only problem is that like anything that’s artificial, the effect of artificial joy produced...

Recommended Products