Intentional Living Series Week Twenty: Relationships

by Christine

{New York City Subway Mosaic}

"Treasure your relationships, not your possessions". ~Anthony J. D'Angelo

Week 19 was about the importance of limiting meaningless distractions so that you can remain focused on your priorities. Week 20 is about caring for your relationships. 

Stress is a reality in life. As you drive the kids to school, another driver cuts you off while he is talking on the phone. At work, you are tasked to lead a team of 5 people to complete a high profile project, a project that is behind schedule. At lunch the wait server gets your order wrong. On the way home you stop at the dry cleaners to pick up your best black pants only to learn that they are not ready as promised. In each scenario you chose the path of understanding and patience by using your strongest interpersonal skills to negotiate the situation. But that evening, when you get home, you find that you are not in the house two minutes before you are in conflict with your spouse and children.

Maybe you are at a different point in your life and you spend your day caring for an elderly parent who is not willing or can't afford to move into a group situation. Or you are absent from home for long stretches of time because you travel for work. When you finally get home, all you want to do is decompress and spend some time alone. But your spouse or children demand (and it feels like a demand) your attention right now. You find that your patience is gone and you have nothing to give them.

The danger of an over-scheduled, pressure filled life is that by the time you get home, you have nothing left for your family; you are running on fumes. How many of your apologizes for your behavior at home, starts with, "I am sorry. I had a really bad day today" and how often do you find yourself saying that? Do you really believe that excuses bad behavior when interacting with your family? Aren't they the ones you hold most dear? Once during a stent in a hospital waiting room, I read a hand written poster that stated it succinctly, Be Kind, For Everyone You Meet Is Fighting A Hard Battle. Remember this includes your family too. 

As you work to live an intentional life, take the time to examine how you are interacting with those closest to you. Is your home a place of peace and refuge or a battleground where you come home to blow off steam? 

Week 20 Assignment: Keep a log this week of how many times you are in conflict with your family. Note when this happens and why. 



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