Saturday, October 26

Life Affirming Relationships, How We Get Them 10/26/13

Like the slow unfurling of flowers that feel the warm presence of the sun, so is the growth of a true friendship.
Concrete Conversation 

         I had dinner with a group of men.  I know the routine, what it's like, being with men.  It was interesting hearing men converse for an hour and a half.  Everything discussed was
concrete.  Cabins, tractors, guns, adventures with fireworks, encounters with police, the Oakland Athletics baseball team and the history of the city in which we ate, Alameda, were covered.

        No mention of personal growth, fear, courage or hope.  I'll credit one fellow.  He shared his concern for two neglected young girls, a niece and a friend of hers. His comments fed my hope for us men.

        I took in everything while with these fellows.  I was off-balance, being with men I didn't know. I spoke little, other than peppering the conversation with questions.  It was intriguing noticing the dynamic among them.

        I compared our dinner conversation with the relationship I have when with my sons. Openness, shared vulnerability, joy, laughter and transparency takes place when are together.  Our times together are soul satisfying.

Gentleness Reveals Characterological Strength
       I've learned gentleness requires greater strength than maintaining a "tough" facade.  Anyone can be gruff, living within the self-protection of a hard exterior, not revealing what's going on within our souls with anyone. Vulnerability reveals courage. If we do, we are susceptible to someone violating the weak areas displayed. Transparent conversation leaves us open to derision, judgment.

     The upside is that heart-felt talk heals the soul.  It proclaims authenticity is in our midst---we aren't hiding by talking only from the neck up.  We express feelings.  Fellowship of this nature, allows restoration----emotional, spiritual and physical, that can be found no other way.

The Stuff of Intimacy   
It Requires Discernment

      Being vulnerable is the stuff intimacy.  It's important not doing so with just anyone. We want to engage with those who love and accept us unconditionally.

      Relating with people who are emotionally healthy, trustworthy and mature, makes unfurling our inner selves possible. Having a list of our "must haves" and "can't stands" when relating with others is critical.  Developing healthy friendships, my Balcony People, requires maturity and skill.  Safe relationships requires character discernment. They take time to grow.

Healthy Relationships Do Not Grow Overnight

      Fulfilling relationships happen when we establish healthy values in our friendships. Doing so, permits bonding with emotionally mature others. In depth relationships don't happen spontaneously:
"Friendship is a plant of slow growth with must endure many  seasons of adversity for it to be worthy of that appellation."  Geo. Washington.
Our first president should know; it was a lesson he learned during the Revolutionary War.  Benedict Arnold was a close friend of his before he betrayed our nation.

       Good, nurturing relationships require discernment, effort and patience.  It's slow in growing. The investment, however, is worth it: there's fulfillment when we experience emotional constancy with Balcony People.

        This inn is one place where you can experience this.  Interested?  It starts with us hearing from you.

How About You?
1. What do you look for, when connecting with others?
2. What are mistakes you've made when relating with others? What's a big lesson you've learned?
3. What do your satisfying relationships look like?
4. And, of course, what gratitudes do you have about your friends?
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Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this chilly Tuesday night, I am grateful...

1. For a sincere chat with our second oldest son tonight about his plans, goals (or lack thereof...); how he can get out of his current rut, to where he wants/needs to be.

2. A comforting moment of reconciliation, and civil dinner conversation with our third oldest son following some turbulence.

3. Being able to choose NOT to engage with someone who is obsessing, catastrophizing, who seems to need to argue, to counter, to not let go of making a "right" point; in this case with Son #3. To be able to stay in my safe space of serenity, to not speak, and to leave the room and go about my own business. Liberating indeed!

Pablo said...

Dear Carl,

I'm impressed. It looks like you are dealing with stressful issues, right and left. Kudos to you for not reacting, but responding instead, not engaging with someone who wants to pick a fight!!

I'm glad you are maintaining what serenity you can, by detaching! You have my prayers. I hope this week is better for you.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.