Welcome back to the Spark to your Success blog articles. Let me start this piece by asking you a question. Think about the things that you value most about the people you enjoy spending time with. What are they? Write them down so that you can revisit them whenever you need to reflect.
Time is precious and limited. You may not think this at the moment because time seems abundant when you’re younger, but as you progress with life you will start to cherish every single minute.
The people you spend time with and the activities you participate in need to be enjoyable. What’s the point in doing something you don’t enjoy? It’s a waste of your time right? Of course you may still be in education and have other compulsory commitments that are less than enjoyable for you but think of them as part of your journey for greater things in life.
If you’re new to the Spark to your Success blog series, welcome along. Here, you’ll find a lot of resources dedicated to helping you to become a stronger, more confident version of yourself so that you can truly live life to the full. Please feel free to start at the beginning of the articles by clicking here.
The things you value about friendships, family members, even teachers, your boss or work colleagues, could be how they make you laugh or smile, feel happy, safe, certain and loved.
What do they do that contributes to how you feel?
What great memories do you share?
How do they motivate you?
Can you be relaxed with them?
Do you have the same values and interests?
It’s important to take your time to think deeply about this because if any negative feelings creep into your thoughts they need to be addressed so that you can concentrate on positive relationships.
If you work or have a volunteering role, what do you value about the people you work with? Is there someone who encourages you to develop your skills, provides a shoulder to lean on or is there anyone who is a bit difficult to be around? You should have teammates not enemies. Work should encourage a sense of camaraderie and the sharing of goals between colleagues for the greater good of the company and fulfilment of your working life. A job you enjoy will feel more like you’re going out to play not to graft. Teammates complement each other’s skills, talents and gifts. Together you all create a formidable force that gets the job done!
But in order to create great relationships that are fulfilling, you have to know what is important to you.
“Life is better when you’re laughing.”
Getting to grips with relationship resilience
‘So what’s all this got to do with relationship resilience?’ I hear you say. Sometimes in a relationship, weather it’s between family, friends, work colleagues or a personal intimate relationship, stuff can go wrong. At times you will feel disappointment, uncertainty, maybe anger, sadness or guilt. And that’s OK, it means you’re human.
I’m not going to lie, you will feel pain caused by the relationships you have as you go through life and there’s no way of avoiding this or providing guarantees. But by building resilience you will be able to handle the hurt easier and get over situations of being let down. Some situations may seem confusing and difficult to accept because you don’t know what triggered it. This will knock your resilience if you don’t understand the purpose of the relationship you have with that person. Developing an understanding of what it looks like will enable you to forgive someone or simply accept what has happened and move on.
Let me share a powerful poem with you to illustrate this resilience. I’ve heard many inspirational speakers share this and it resonates so strongly with me that I have its symbols tattooed on my wrist so I can refer to it every day.
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a reason, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a Godsend and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say something or do something to bring the relationship to an end, sometimes they die, sometimes they walk away, sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What you must realise is this, that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done, the prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a season, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you’ve never done, they usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it; it is real. But only for a season.
Lifetime relationships teach you lifetime lessons—things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put into practice what you have learned to use in all your other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
Everyone comes into your life for a purpose
I adore this poem and I use it as a daily tune to live by, let me explain why in my own words.
People – friends, family members, teachers, work colleagues – come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
The reason may be that you silently or publicly put out a question or requested help. It could be as simple as you feeling a bit down and need cheering up and a stranger in a supermarket queue smiled at you in a way that your low mood lifted. It’s a brief couple of minutes but the outcome was just what you needed at the time.
Sometimes your paths might cross for half an hour, an hour, a few hours, a day or a couple of days and then your question is answered, your need is met and that person is gone again, their job is done.
Often, for the lesson to be learned, the question to be answered or the gift to be given or received it takes a little bit longer. The need is bigger and it needs a season, so your paths cross for several months, or maybe years. Once that gift, lesson or answer has been given or received, your job is done, you need to move on, your purpose has been found and the outcome is achieved.
Sometimes we get the gift of a lifetime in a relationship or career choice. Our paths come together side by side for a lifetime. Often this is a family, maybe a close friend or someone that shares your lifetime journey with you.
“Give life a meaning.”
Relationship resilience can shape your future happiness
There is a challenge to this concept though and here’s where the resilience thing kicks in. Time and time again, people think that a relationship is a lifetime relationship when it’s really just a seasonal one. The season ends because its purpose has been achieved. Maybe you drift apart and the spark just fizzles out or an argument erupts. Whatever the reason, you are left wondering at what point this happened. Maybe you think that you did something wrong and you’re angry, sad or hurt.
It might be that somebody passes away and you’re left with the regret of not saying what you wanted to say or needed to say or you didn’t get to say goodbye. Often you can’t move on because you still hold on to these disempowering emotions of guilt, frustration and grief.
The way to turn this around for your own happiness, to move on, and to build relationship resilience is to think about what you learned from that person. How did they change your life, what positive experiences and feelings did you gain when you were with them or from meeting them? What doors of opportunity opened and what do you have now that you didn’t have before?
Consider two or three people that have played a significant part in your life up to now that no longer play a large role or who have moved on in some way. Think about the questions above and write some answers down. You will always find several elements that you can thank these people for. Take back your power by thanking these people for being in your life for a reason, a season or (so far) a lifetime. Be grateful for this and move on.
How do the lessons, answers or gifts received/given compare with the previous exercise looking at the ten things you value most about the relationships you have today?
Hanging on to negative emotions will create blocks and cause wounds in your life. Be strong, reflect on what we’ve talked about and you will overcome them.
“Small changes can make a big difference.”
Choose the life you want to lead
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic and what you find most interesting when you think about past and present relationships.
Please do connect with me on social media below and feel free to join our newsletter here to pick up more ideas and try new activities that encourage a stronger, healthier and happier life.
If I get the opportunity to work with you, coach you or train you personally then we will definitely have fun exploring additional ways to build the most amazing you. I have fun games and exercises as learning resources plus a huge bank of podcasts, informative blogs, and PDF documents.
In the meantime, stay amazing and have the most wonder-filled week – bye for now.