Staying Connected

Hello,

Connection is close to my heart. If I meet for business, I’ll ask how your heart is doing first. I can’t just ask what you did today, I wanna know how you actually feel about life, what you’re doing that makes you come alive, what dreams your building towards, what you would do if you weren’t worried about anything. I just want people to live to the full, not to let the days fly by, I want the days to count… not just to count away the days.

Something that’s been bubbling under the surface of my heart has been the issue of people disconnecting and dividing. This probably has a lot to do with events in my personal life, but it has opened my eyes to this occurring in the lives of others.

People get hurt or offended by a friend, then they put a wall up in their heart. Or they walk away, and wash their hands of the friendship.

There’s a stark contrast between conflict and confrontation. Conflict is full of anger and heat and emotion. Nasty words get hurled, people bring up issues from the past that they never brought up at the time, but use all these things to fuel their argument.
But let’s be real here, when your friend hurts you, you tell them in the moment, because what good friend would want to continue inflicting suffering? If that wasn’t the case, why are they such a “good friend”?

I read in a magazine about women getting older, and making adjustments in their life. One article covered the transition from fashionable to more comfortable clothes. And the one that stuck with me was the lessening of friendship between drainers, and increase of friendship between radiators. There are people that drain you of energy every time you spend time with them. They tend to have a lot of needs. You can be a great friend, listening, giving advice, speaking wisdom, but they come back with the same issues. It’s like they don’t even listen. And that’s exhausting. As is being a drain to other people. We can avoid this by accepting rebuke, listening to advice, and actually taking it, or taking the initiative to solve our own issues.

The other kind of friends fill you with energy. They make you buzz, you feel warm and loved, and yet inspired for life, and motivated to do fun things. These friends are like radiators.

I suppose I have two points here:
Surround yourself with the kind of friends that build up and fulfil your life and laugh away all your troubles with them.
And at the same time, do what it takes to keep those friendships strongly bound. Stay connected. Communicate when there are hurts or offence, don’t build resentment towards them.

Communicating is as simple as, “Hey, so when you ________, I felt {sad/mad/glad/afraid], I was just wondering what you were thinking, have I done anything to upset you? So in the future can we ___________”
Easy. Well. It takes practice, but as long as you focus on your own issues instead of projecting them on to the other party, you’ll be alright. You can communicate when they’ve done something that makes you feel happy too!

It’s okay to confront, because your heart isn’t to offend or insult the other person, or make them feel how they made you feel. Your heart is to reconnect, and make your relationship stronger.

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