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Archive for June, 2010

This past week was certainly filled with appointments where relationships were filled with pain, frustration, and loss. There was a variety of difficulties that create the negativity resulting in a “going away or a going against” style of relationship.

What gives life in our relationships? What types of connection offer more than our shallow placating efforts to “make someone happy?” I find that the real trap is when we feel responsible for someone elses happiness. This automatically is a set up for someone else to control whether you are happy.

Central to our challenge to experience relationship connections that give life is our boundary layer confusion about “what is yours, what is mine, and what is ours.” I find that there are three distinct entities in a dyadic relationship: me, you, and us. The difficulty is that we are confused about the relational, emotional lines between the three. Consequently, we are either overperforming, underperforming, or not performing.

Relationships were created to offer an authentic source of generative life. Our confusion due to emotional, developmental, historical, and spiritual forces misconstrue the perception and therefore the delivery of relationship giving. The end result: confusion, hurt, frustration, differences that do not reconcile, emotional tissue that does not get restored, spiritual birthing that does not get a chance to develop.

Certainly, a 250 word blog is not enough to address this difficulty in full. However, mentioning the challenge and attempting to distill out of the confusion a central understanding of part of the challenge can begin the conversation that creates an interest to delve deeper into discovering for yourself Connections That Give Life! How do you relate to this conversation?

Photos courtesy of  Microsoft Clip Organizer

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A while ago, I wrote a post that described the necessity to Keep the Conversation Going. Similarly, the post that you are reading  points towards the need for keeping the inner conversation with yourself  fresh and alive.

Yesterday, I was discussing with an individual particular circumstances that were engulfing her ability to maintain buoyancy and personal perspective in her life. She described her situation as a dark shadow that was overcoming her ability to see any light in her situation. Our conversation together continued to hover around the particulars of her situation but more so her “ability to see” herself in her situation and to see more than what she now was experiencing. What resulted was a Conversation about Meaning.

We are forced, sometimes , as we face difficulties, to ask questions that we do not have immediate answers. Events happen, our lives rearranged, and peril begins to enter our emotions and thoughts. Dread begins to set in similar to water that solidifies concrete when it sets up. A clear direction is not in sight and stagnation or resignation seems like the only alternative. Where do we search for and answer?

A dear friend of mine recently wrote a blog that addresses decision-making in the context of the confusing swirl of the journey of  life at a crossroad. In addition to asking, “What is the right thing to do?”, is there a place to understand and address the question, “Where does my meaning come from in this given situation?” 

Each circumstance in life that we experience compels us to check whether we will end with despair and emptiness or meaning, purpose, and value. As I began to process with this women her “sense of purpose” in the midst of her circumstance, what resulted was a lengthy conversation about her needs, longings, desires, hopes, and dreams.

Despite the tragedy at hand, her soul possessed the deep well of life as represented in needs, longings. desires, hopes, and dreams. One author put it this way, When we pay attention to our longing and allow questions about our longing to strip away the outer layers of self-definition, we are tapping into the deepest dynamic of the spiritual life. The stirring of spiritual desire indicates that God is already at work within us, drawing us to himself.”  It is difficult at times to see God in the midst of our difficulties and ‘yet it is in our difficulties that we often most clearly see God and therefore ourselves.’ I am grateful for the well within that contains the  life and residency of God. This grants permission for new perspectives and new beginnings despite hardship. What do you think?

Photos courtesy of Microsoft Clip Organizer & BrandonRhodes Photo Stream

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This morning I was reflecting on the many conversations that I have been a part of this past Memorial Day weekend. For many, Memorial day is filled with the need to experience recreation by being outside and engaging in some type of activity:  fishing, boating, or camping, in addition to remembering those that have gone before us and have passed away. My time was spent reflecting about my late father, being with family, gardening, and sailing.

Aside from the enjoyment of particular activities was the engagement of connecting with family and friends. Whether it be phone conversations or personal exchanges over a meal, connecting  was the linchpin that created the overall meaning of my time with family and friends.

Why do we as human beings have such a need to connect? Why is it so gratifying when we are able to meet with people and walk away with so much more than what we came with? What are we actually walking away with? Often I will in my coaching or therapy relationships hear how a person no longer wishes to be in relationship with others due to the fear of getting hurt. Naturally, they have already gotten hurt and their perceived immediate reaction is to abandon any sense of relationship that will replicate the same injury that they are experiencing. The result is an experience of increased isolation and loneliness. The outcome is a cycle of of downward spiraling into discouragement and sometimes depression.

The question remains: how do we connect when we are hurt? Do we merely become confrontational and address things with a big stick? Do we simply absorb the hurt, the confusion, or even the unintended frustrations and drift away leaving the relationship void and bankrupt of the life needed to redeem the relationship?

Love is energy. Life is relationship, Living is the beautiful chemistry within the context of our own personalities to embrace the beauty of our longing for love (connection), our need for daily life (living). We struggle with this as humans. We have an inability to know and express love in harmony with another. We fall so short. We fail. We are at times ignorant and unknowledgeable. We need help. We need God!

Life Leadership on a deeper level goes beyond the surface activity and moves deeper towards knowing your own heart and becoming aware of your personal trust structures. Trust structures are deep seated attitudes and orientations out of which behavior patterns flow. Ultimately, our deep trust structures are areas in our lives where we are still captive of our own anxieties and do not trust God. We are still bound up, defensive and self-protective in order to maintain our more fragile sense of self. Connecting begins to leads us towards the  experience of transformation by offering us an opportunity to invite each other into the presence of God and relationship with one another.

Photos courtesy of  Microsoft

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