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Relationship First (DOC)

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					Relationship First

These two words are sacred to me.

These two words sum up the wisdom of my entire lifetime.

What I'm talking about is connection - or disconnection.

One of the biggest regrets most people experience at the end of their
lives is that they didn't risk "being themselves" in relationship. They
spent their lives trying not to upset other people, earning others'
approval, and trying to control themselves and others with the idea that
this would insure their safety. They played it safe instead of living
from their heart.

At this juncture in their lives, they often have an intuitive sense of
missing out on something bigger -an alive and authentic life. They had
lived a "black and white" life and yearn to know "color and vibrancy."

I, myself, woke up to "relationship first" when I was afraid I'd lose my
connection with my teenage daughter over her turning in her homework or
not. I had choice. I could keep pressuring her to do her homework so
she'd get good grades and go to college where she'd get a degree which
would help her have a good life. Whooh! I told myself the story that
she'd/we'd be okay if she conformed. So I tried to control her for our
security.

OR I could make our connection the higher priority. I could listen to her
with an open heart. I could really hear her and honor the connection she
had with herself and our connection. I could trust her and let her spread
her wings and encourage her to fly.

Making the choice for "relationship first" means getting connected to me
first - my relationship with myself. I heard the part of me that had the
idea that controlling my daughter would insure our safety. Another part
felt our relationship slipping away, and it was afraid to lose it.
Another part wanted to trust her to find her way - to give her space and
acceptance, that I "had her back" no matter what and that I believed in
her. Just by naming and acknowledging these parts that were swirling in
my head, I found clarity.

After getting connected to myself, I had space to listen to what she
wanted. Being an especially bright girl, she didn't want to do homework
just for the sake of doing homework or submitting to the rules of doing
the work when she already understood and got the concepts. She wanted
choice about what she did and didn't do and to do only what was
meaningful to her. She wanted for that to matter to her teachers and to
me. I heard her beautiful needs and knew that they lived in me as well.

In the end, we connected. We heard what was important to each other. I
let go of my strategy of forcing her to turn in all of her homework. I
chose trust and acceptance. I chose the preciousness of our connection.
Anyone curious about how the story ended with my daughter? Flash forward
11 years. She chose to go to college and now happily and proudly has her
master's degree.

Putting relationship first is no doubt a more colorful ride. I am more
present to what is alive in me and in others in each moment. I celebrate
the depth of connection I have with my family and friends.

I feel more. I trust more. I love more.

And "relationship first" has made all the difference..

I'd love for us all to learn from one another. Have you reached a similar
turning point? Are you looking for an opening like this? Share your story
here.

				
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posted:5/7/2012
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