Obstacle #5: Relationships (Part 2)
Relationship challenges can be sooooo frustrating!
Because, you can’t control what others do. You can’t make them change.
But the super encouraging news is that there are four areas you CAN control. You can work on your heart. You can take actions to improve the relationship. You can get someone else involved. You can limit your exposure to the relationship.
Let’s start with the heart. Before pointing your finger at that person who’s driving you crazy, point that finger back at yourself. Make sure you have the right attitude. This is very Biblical. Jesus said to take the plank out of your eye, before you talk about the speck out of someone else’s.(Matthew 7:5)
What’s going on in your inner self?
Is it always bubbling with things that bother you, like a bad case of gas? Here’s a verse that is so powerful for inner transformation, “In everything, do to others, as you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12) Put yourself in the other person's shoes. Forgive them as you would want to be forgiven. Be patient as you would want someone to be patient with you, Listen to them as you would want someone to listen to you, trying to see from their viewpoint, and admitting that you might not know better. Accept them, with their differences and weaknesses, as you would want to be accepted.
Are you not sure why you’re having such a strong or stubborn reaction to what someone said or did? Get to the bottom of it by processing the matter. Journal. Pour your heart out to God, and then be quiet and listen. Speak to a therapist or coach.
Are you frequently worried about how you’re measuring up in the eyes of others? Decide that you will only seek to please God. Start your day with this intention, and keep bringing your focus back to it.
Do you feel compelled to make sure everyone’s peaceful and happy? Set the boundary that this is not your job. Yes, you should be loving, kind and giving. But their wellbeing is their responsibility, not yours. They have to work on their own heart, just as you are doing in this exercise.
Do you have a critical inner voice? Refuse to listen to it. Intentionally focus on what is good in others, rather than their flaws. Accept and appreciate yourself, and you will do the same for others.
Are you stuck in your frustration with someone? Tell yourself, “This is their choice.” Then say the same thing to yourself, “I have a choice.” There’s just something so freeing about remembering that we all have free will, and make our own choices.
Finally, I want to leave you with something that will always help, and that’s to just to take a deep breath, and trust. Trust in God, and in his goodness. You’ll have more peace in your heart, and this will help you to be peaceful in your relationships.
So all of this is one way you CAN overcome, in the face of relationship challenges. Just think of how different the world would be if we would all address conflict by first addressing our hearts!
Stay tuned for more. And schedule time with me, if it would be helpful to get to the bottom of how a relationship situation is weighing you down. I care.