Thursday, September 4

Three Things Needed to Find Safe People.... 9/4/14

Scotland: "Loch Linhe and Loch Eil from Ben Nevis"
By Tim Blessed.  Copyrighted photo, used by permission. 
Where Do We Find the Safe People We Need in Order to Thrive?

      It is not chance.

     When we are hurt by relation-ships there is a common denom-inator.

      Us.  Ouch.

      It is easy blaming others. There is nothing wrong with us we think as we smart from someone's sarcasm.  It's not our fault, we rea-son, when surrendering to an emotional bully.  We fear confronting him.  It is too much of a bother.

      For good relationships, we need boundaries. They help us evaluate others properly.  Boundaries  help us with irresponsible, manipulative or controlling relationships.  What often gets in the way when facing these problems?  Our character issues.

      Childhood mentoring prepares us for life.  Childhood is a ripe time to learn discernment.  Many of us were not instructed in this important skill.  We grew up in homes where the behavior was less than ideal.  Healthy direction didn't happen for us.

      It is never to late to learn.  Boundaries are a measuring stick.  Relationships that line up with them are good relationships. We em-brace these.

      Boundaries help us avoid those friendships that aren't good for us.  These guidelines are the basis for maturity, safety and growth. There are three ingredients that create good rela-tionships.  They help guard our heart.  Let's take a look:
  Guard your heart with all diligence for from it flows the issues of life.         Proverbs 4:23
1.  Discernment

     One factor that builds healthier relationships is character discernment. 

     With it, we are drawn to people for the right reasons.  We avoid external reasons for relating.  Outward success, material attainments, looks are not the measure of the man or woman.

      Character is.

      A friend with character is a formula for a healthy rela-tionship. Is the person kind when we differ?  Is he patient, when wronged?  Does the person have compassion?  Do they listen to us talk?  Is there a "we" left standing after a conflict?

     These are marks of character.  This person is safe.

     When something is amiss, does the person care more about the issue than the relationship?  When s/he talks, do we become an audience of one, and are not included?  That's an unsafe person. We want to steer clear of this person. 

2.  Knowing How to Connect

     Discernment isn't everything.  Community is critical, too.  Isolating hurts us emotionally and mentally.  Community with emotionally healthy others protects us.  We all desire intimacy.

     Contrary to what the media says, intimacy is not sex.  Often, that is the farthest thing from it.  As presented in the world, tenderness is often trifled.  Reciprocity in a relationship is what we want.  Mutuality and emotional safety are key for a good friendship.

     Being intimate is revealing our fears.  With a safe person we can.  Those we relate with---who are safe---do not judge when we bare our weaknesses.  Instead of ridicule, we receive compassion. We experience grace.

     Blame is replaced with grace.  In good friendships, shame is absent. We can share our vulnerabilities, boldly.  Safe People provide a healthy environment.  What is divulged is not used against us.

     "Bob" is a fellow I know.  He worked in the health care field, as a nurse.  Tragedy took place, someone died under his care.  He revealed this tragic event to an unsafe friend. 

     When his friend did something wrong, Bob tried addressing it.  His friend would dredge up that Bob "killed" a patient.  His friend would tell Bob he could never say anything negative about him. Bob killed someone.  That was worse than any misdeed this friend did.

     This relationship is manipulative.  It is unsafe. 

3.  Fear of Abandonment

      Sometimes we find ourselves in unhealthy relationship.  Applying boundaries, or detaching, is in order.  It doesn't happen.  Why?  Fear of being alone may cause the individual to cave in.  Sad.  This reveals the value of a supportive community.

      It provides strength.  Good friends give us emotional object constancy.  We know we are loved, valued.  Good friends strengthens us.  With their support we can take difficult steps.  Support empowers us to confront.  We can take action that is emotionally draining. We can move away from unhealthy relationships.
       On occasion, we may be guilty of not keeping good company.  Often, it is a case of preferring to stay in an unhealthy relationship.  We believe it is better than no relationship at all.  This reflects low self-esteem.  It is self-sabotaging.  We can do better.

We get what we tolerate.

       We train people how to treat us, be it for good or ill.  We gain confidence when we live within a community of  good friends.  They are the fruit of exercising better discernment and boundaries. Applying them provides greater peace of mind.  It is something we need to thrive in today's hectic society.

       We help ourselves when we let go of manipulative, controlling relationships.  Exercising discernment, our relationships improve.  Applying courage derived from our supportive network, it increases.  We are able to remove the decaying fruit of unhealthy acquaintances.

       As we get better so will our relationships.

How About You? 
Please share the qualities of intimacy you enjoy with a dear friend.
      May you have a great and grateful day.  I know I will!


Optimistic Existentialist said...

I think you are right to say that when others hurt us we automatically attribute all the blame to them. I have been guilty of this before. It took me a long time to look myself in the mirror and realize that I was equally at fault, if not more so.

Pablo said...

Dear Keith/Opti,

Thank you, for your comment. It takes to to tango and two to tangle. I find my conscience is cleaner when I clean up my side of the street, even if I think I am only one percent in the wrong. Also, it isn't my job to keep tabs on another and tell them what they are did wrong.

The thing I have learned is that I make amends for my sake, not the person I have offended, their response is irrelevant. When I do what is necessary to right a wrong I have caused, I am able to look in the mirror with a clean conscience.

I need to keep the focus on my contribution if I am in conflict with another. This makes my life more manageable. I can't control others---that is a fantasy, no one can---nor do I want to. But, I can control my actions and choices. That is something I have a handle on.

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.