You miss intimate connection in your relationship…and you don’t know how to get it back.
You reach out over and over again to a friend…who doesn’t reach out or have time for you.
You have good ideas about how a family member should be running their life…but they don’t follow your directions.
And…you can’t figure out why you feel the distance and disconnection.
Relationships lose oxygen sometimes. Whether you have a relationship with a friend, lover, parent, sibling or child, it takes oxygen to nurture and sustain a relationship.
When I say oxygen I don’t necessarily mean time and attention, although those are strong nutrients that every relationship needs in order to flourish.
When I say Oxygen, I mean RESPECT
Respect, as we typically define it, is about looking up to someone whose values and accomplishments we honor. We are taught to respect our elders, teachers and people who do the “right” thing. Status plays into this definition of respect.
While this concept is useful for keeping society in line, when it comes to relationships, the Brilliant Heart Power of Respect is what creates stability and intimacy that deepens relationship.
RESPECT is a heart state, not a state of mind.
The mind has a big tendency toward disrespect, it is self-centered, unless trained otherwise. It views life through the right/wrong, good/bad lens, based on arbitrary beliefs. It leans toward judging others for their actions, choices and idiosyncrasies, which creates separation rather than intimacy.
Our mind of disrespect offers unsolicited opinions and advice of how others should be or what they should do; based on our emotional comfort zone and our beliefs.
The disrespectful mind, attempting to change and control others, creates tension in relationship. Does anyone want to be told what to do or how to do it? This arrogant position doesn’t register this fact:
Everyone has a right to make choices, take actions and live their life in their own way and time.
If you bring disrespect to your partner or friend most likely they will go away in some form or fashion. You suck the oxygen-the life force out of what was initially a prized and chosen connection. They may stop listening to you, isolate to protect themselves or become dishonest to keep the peace. All the while you are experiencing greater distance.
“Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump: You may be freeing him from being a camel.” – G.D. Chesterton
As you engage the heart of Respect you honor people for who they are, independent of what they do or don’t do; beyond their choices and actions. You respect their destiny, it is their life to live.
The heart is a compassionate observer that views these strange and sometimes unruly characters in our lives with curiosity rather than judgment. Our heart guides us through our own current of life and trusts others to navigate theirs in their way and time. This is Respect.
If you waste a lot of time and energy attempting to navigate someones current, or designing a plan to remove their hump, most likely you’ve shifted from heart to head. Here are some symptoms that you’ve left your own current to practice disrespect.
- Give advice, which is not specifically asked for. If someone asks, certainly Go Ahead!
- Know what is best for others and tell them what they ‘should’ be doing to fit your pictures of how you need them to be… for you to be comfortable.
- Feel resentful, cold or intolerant when others don’t follow your rules of being a ‘good friend’ or ‘loving partner’.
- Manipulate, demand or micro manage to have it your way.
If any of these behaviors are interrupting happiness in any of your relationships, I suggest you make a decision to master the heart power of Respect. You’ll be deepening into you while infusing your relationships with greater intimacy.
You might be asking, “But what if it is hard to respect how other people are?”
- Make a decision to bring your heart into the relationship – your heart knows Compassion for the journey we all take. Yes, even when someone’s journey is very different from yours and doesn’t necessarily match what you want.
- Make a decision to bring your heart into the relationship – your heart knows Patience which is needed to ‘be in’ the process of life, without grasping for a result.
- Make a decision to bring your heart into the relationship – your heart expresses your Honesty which lets people know how you feel inside, to include how their behavior or choices are affecting you. (This is a communication skill to learn.
When the tension from releasing disrespectful behaviors lets go and you commit your heart to relationship, a deep surrender happens. Your heart opens and oxygen infuses all your relationships with love rather than control. Love is the healing balm that empowers others to be their best selves.
We may or may not like what our partners or friends do. We may totally disagree with the way they live their life. However, if we choose intimacy in relationship, respecting people’s choices is a must. Through Respect you create open space for love to expand both of you, you become loving witnesses to one anothers lives.
Consider this one truth:
What you do to anothers Heart, you do to your own Heart.
Join me – Let’s continue to use our Oxygen wisely.