Love must be learned and learned again; there is no end to it.
~Katherine Anne Porter~
One of the hardest things in life is putting forth effort toward our relationships. Nothing ever stays the same. The relationships we build are precious and valuable treasures. We should always handle them with care and look for ways to build bridges to each other’s hearts, especially when our connection begins to fade. I know that we do not always want our relationships to fail but some must — in order for our own personal growth. However, we would all like to mend fences with those we lost or still in our life and one way we can take a step toward the next level is in our love for one another.
Love doesn’t always remain the same year after year but love is supposed to grow. Relationships evolve over time, people change over time, and our love should strengthen and grow over time too. This alerts us that we cannot put our love for others on autopilot. If we put our love on autopilot and think that the people in our lives will simply “know” that we love them, our relationships will not grow or be as fruitful as they were intended to be. That’s why it’s so important to make every effort to keep strong connections in our relationships.
Living a fast-paced busy life, oftentimes we end up moving in different directions in our relationships. It’s important to make an extra effort to connect with those we love often. Recognizing when effort is needed makes it easier to take action. It’s not important how we connect, but it is important that connecting take place. Keeping our connections intact and strong, helps keep our hearts moving in the same direction.
Getting creative with how we connect can be a fun way of keeping our relationships inspiring and rewarding. In a world with new technology like social websites and iPhones are always a quick way to stay in touch (we have no excuse). However, sometimes going back to old technology like leaving a post-it note on someone’s desk or sending a card in the mail is a wonderful and easy way to keep connections. Even sending a flower to a friend is a special way of saying, “I care and I’m thinking of you.” Little reminders, even a smiley text are simple, fun ways to stay connected.
It takes time and effort to maintain the connections in our relationships. Sometimes when someone hurts or offends us, we can be tempted to disconnect. But one of the most common mistakes people make in relationships is to give the other person the silent treatment in an effort to pull back. It’s usually our ego that rears its ugly head, telling us to stay in anger and defense. The ego finds a way to trick our mind into telling ourselves a story, in our head, over and over that appears to justify our actions about pulling back. We must learn to listen to our heart instead of our head. Don’t get me wrong, we can’t have close relationships with everyone that comes across our path and especially if that person does not have our best and highest good in mind. We have to tune into our intuitive guide that gives us a “heads up” about that person (and listen to it).
I read about a story about a couple who had a fight and their attempt at staying connected. That night, the man and wife were still not talking to each other, and since the man didn’t want to give in first, he left her a note saying, “Wake me up at six o’clock in the morning.” The next morning, the man woke up at eight o’clock and was furious. He was about to go find his wife to give her a piece of his mind, when he noticed a note on his side of the bed that read, “It’s six o’clock; wake up!”
At one time or another, we have all faced the temptation to disconnect with someone by giving them the silent treatment. It’s not good to go to sleep angry and frustrated because we usually end up waking up with that same anger and frustration we went to bed with. It doesn’t miraculously go away the morning after and we probably will not sleep very well anyway. Sometimes we may not have the resolution to the disagreement by the time the evening comes, but if we learn that we can disagree and still be friends, lovers, family members and so on — we will enjoy our relationships a whole lot more. I have a friend who tells me that sometimes when she and her spouse are still angry at each other at bedtime, right before she goes to sleep, she will simply say to him, “I am right, you are wrong, and I love you anyway. Good night.”
Whether with a love relationship or a friend relationship, sometimes we have to just agree to disagree. One of the most freeing experiences is to recognize that we are two different people who see things differently, and we can still love each other and stay connected. Just because we have a disagreement with our friends or family members does not mean that there are not plenty of other areas on which we can agree and see eye-to-eye. It just means we have a difference of opinion, which is okay! Having the same heart and the same goal is what maintains a good connection. There will be times when we do not agree on every decision or subject, but we should always believe in one another, support one another, and move forward through life together, connected. If there is someone who you have had a disagreement with and have lost your connection, but they still linger in your mind. Try reaching out with the smallest gesture, don’t expect anything in return. Just feel good that you pushed your ego aside and tell yourself in your mind that it’s okay to disagree.