Tend the Garden of Your Love!
Your relationships are the underpinning of your deepest need for security and comfort. Just as plants whither and die if they aren’t nourished so do our relationships. We are beings who need others, we need to be loved. If we don’t find a loving connection in our primary relationships we quite often find ourselves feeling isolated and depressed.
Why is it sometimes easier for us to focus everywhere else before we focus on our relationships? The reason we find it difficult to give our time, energy and attention to those we love is because we are vulnerable with them in a way that we are not with the others in our lives and this can feel quite threatening and scary. Our loved ones know exactly what makes us tick. They know how to push on our tender spots and trip the switches signaling our brain to scream “Danger, Danger, Danger!” We defend ourselves from hurt by either withdrawing or by becoming aggressive or angry. Before we know it, we are in a destructive cycle with someone who responds in kind to our unconscious defense.
So how do you avoid this harmful spiral? Amazingly, the solution is rather simple – spend some time together!
4 Ways To Nurture Your Relationship And Tend The Garden That Feeds Your Very Essence!
1. Commit to taking at least a few minutes to talk to one another.
Staying in touch with your loved ones does not need to feel like an onerous task. It can be as simple as a phone call or text to let them know that you are thinking of them and care that all is well in their world. Talk to each other to learn about what the other is thinking. Surprisingly, bringing this level of curiosity back into your relationships will strengthen your bonds and leave both of you with a strong feeling of well being and security.
2. Schedule some time to get together.
These days we are often so busy that they can’t find time to spend with the people who mean the most to us. Agreeing to a date several weeks or even months out helps one feel connected — like having a tether when one is doing something dangerous. Research shows us that when a child knows that their parent or caregiver is nearby they are more willing to venture out to explore. We don’t outgrow that need as adults!
Often we get caught thinking that setting a date in the future means that we have to commit to a lot of time. Coffee with a friend or a short walk will suffice if time is truly short. Of course, if there is more time plan an adventure that will make each of you smile.
3. Surprise your loved one with a message.
Leaving a voice message, an email or a text message lets your loved one know that you are thinking about them.
4. Create rituals for when you are together or when you part ways.
Creating personal rituals is especially important for people who aren’t able to see each other often. How do you come back together after a prolonged separation? What can you each do so that each of you feels honored and acknowledged when you see one other again? Bringing that special something that you know this person really likes tells them that the distance hasn’t allowed you to forget what is important to them (aside from you of course!). Going to a special event year after year helps people feel that this is a relationship that they can count on, even if the remainder of the year the communication is via phone or email. Be creative and have fun with this, you’ll be surprised at what you can come up with to ensure connection.
You don’t need to have a green thumb to do things to keep connections alive. You and your loved ones will reap many benefits from nurturing your relationships.