If your life was firmly rooted in self-acceptance & belonging; if your unique self was nourished & secure, free from a need to earn acceptance, approval or love by looking outward rather than within-what would be different for you?
How can you take life's challenges and hardships and use them to your advantage rather than viewing them as just another thing to endure? Not to suggest that we have to be happy and content with everything that comes our way but choosing to carry the belief that in everything there is opportunity, we just have to look for it.
How might your "limiting beliefs" be holding you back or weighing you down? How much more of your time are you going to give away to maintain those beliefs? "It takes a conscious choice to cut the twine that binds us to our limiting beliefs and holds in a story of powerlessness."-Co-Active Leadership
The golden nugget of unfolding potential is recognizing that "...the circumstances don't need to change in order for our story to change." Wow.
What story do you want to walk with-one of being broken and not able or a story about being whole and capable?
What Do You Expect?
It's taken some time-maybe a whole lot of time-to learn this simple but valuable life lesson. If you go into a situation with realistic expectations you greatly reduce your chances of walking away disappointed.
What I'm really referring to is interactions with people in life. There's a saying that you can't get blood out of a stone and realistically the same may feel true for trying to get your emotional needs met from someone who struggles with the skills to give you what you need. Some people that enter your life are natural givers and providers of empathy, support and guidance, for others it's like trying to understand a foreign language.
John C. Maxwell in Thinking For A Change shares that "reality is the difference between what we wish and what is." He goes on to say that it took him a long time to learn that he couldn't possibly please everyone which is true for all of us but so is the flip side, we can't expect everyone else in our lives to please us all the time. It's time to be realistic and release the burden-if you are aware of those in your life who for whatever reason are not able to meet your emotional needs then you can significantly reduce your chances of being disappointed by them. Release the expectation and reduce your disappointment.
There's no blame or shaming here. We come into this world with an innate desire to empathize with those we care about but sometimes the path to expressing it becomes blocked by different things such as mixed or unclear messages, or even fear of what may happen or has happened to us in the past. The good news is change is possible and once the blocks can be identified, they can be released as well.
"Change alone doesn't bring growth but you cannot have growth without change" -John C. Maxwell. Growth and change within a relationship of any kind is a two way street and requires a willingness on both sides to take a realistic look in the mirror.
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a role model?
Most people will answer that a role model is someone they can look up to, someone whose behavior serves to lead others towards living a better life-or in the case of a negative role model, behavior that serves as a life lesson on what not to do moving forward. Celebrities, athletes, clergy, parent/caregiver, friend, super heroes are just a few places one can look to find role models. Listen to a conversation on the playground, in a church group, classroom or family dinner and you will likely hear kids dropping names and stats of current day "heroes" from the latest YouTube star to MVP's of the year. A quick internet search of the term good role models reveals post after post; 12 Best Female Role Models, Top 15 Athletes, Celebrity Role Models, Top Ten Role Models For Kids, Parents As Role Models...
Let's consider parents as role models for just a minute. When raising a child, whether you are biological parents, foster parents or temporary guardians, children are watching and learning how to maneuver life's obstacles by how they see you reacting and responding, especially how you treat one another. Truth is, as with any other role model, this can have either a positive or negative effect on children. Whether we want to admit it or not, we learn how to be in relationship with others by watching how our parents (or caregivers) co-exist. Research shows that children repeat the patterns and behaviors they saw while growing up- in their own relationships simply because it may be all they know.
I witnessed a lot of broken relationships growing up, including my parents who divorced while I was in grade school. But I also had the chance to see another side thanks to the parents of my best childhood friend. I spent a great deal of time in their home growing up and despite how young I was I was more than aware of how things were different. I saw the smiles that were exchanged, the loving glances, the grace that was extended. I heard how they spoke gently to one another and about each other. They lived and loved for the benefit of their growing family. For years I held on to that, it was a reminder of what was possible in a healthy strong marriage, my 'couple role model' if you will.
Couple role models or marriage mentors share a desire to help others grow and learn ways to work through everyday issues, communicate more clearly, find direction when stress or conflict has made the path less clear and they can provide hope and wisdom to couples at different stages of their relationship. Mentors aren't emotionally attached to a couple making it easier to be objective, seeing things from a different perspective, even being aware of strengths within the relationship that just need a little light shed on them, opening up a space for growth. No relationship or marriage is perfect but with the right tools and a great support system even good marriages can become greater. And what a great gift of positive role modeling that can provide for your children.
Who has been a couple role model in your life and how have they helped you create love and harmony in your relationship or marriage? Please feel free to share in the comments below.
Life long learner, lover of nature, passionate about helping others.