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6 posts from November 2006

November 27, 2006

TURNING A GOOD RELATIONSHIP INTO A GREAT RELATIONSHIP…takes more than just respect.

I have long struggled with putting words to what it takes to be in a healthy relationship. I’ve talked about being respectful, being tender, being kind, cherishing, loving etc., but nothing to date, has really hit the mark for me…until Sunday.

Yes, I must say, I was actually in church when I “got it”. What I have had difficulty putting words to is—reverence. Dictionary.com stated that reverence was defined as “a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe”. It further stated that to revere means, “to regard with the deepest respect, deference, and esteem”. A synonym for esteem is high regard.

Imagine if you and your partner had the deepest respect, admiration, and high regard for one another. Next, imagine that you both actually acted as if you did.

To have a soul-nourishing relationship you have to actually enjoy your partner. You have to feel blessed to have him/her in your life. You have to feel honored and a bit in awe that this person is sharing his/her life with you. When you feel that, you move from respect to “the deepest respect”, from like to admiration, and from neutral to deep honor.

Continue reading "TURNING A GOOD RELATIONSHIP INTO A GREAT RELATIONSHIP…takes more than just respect." »

November 22, 2006

PUT RELATIONSHIP CONFLICTS ASIDE FOR A DAY…AND GIVE THANKS

The holidays can often be a time of stress for families. It seems as though we humans have a tendency to get caught up in the details of things and forget to enjoy the bigger picture.

Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks. It’s a time to get off the chaotic, goal driven, performance-based treadmill of life, and take a moment to take a breath, look around, and appreciate everything you have been given in life.

Stop running, sit still, and appreciate what you have.

Think about all the loved ones in your life and be thankful they are there. Ignore, for one day, all the things you are not getting from them, and instead focus on what you are. Put all business aside for 24 hours and refuse to pick up the phone, or answer e-mails, or make excuses of any kind, to not be present for your family.

Take a moment during the day, perhaps around the Thanksgiving Day table, to express your appreciation for your loved ones. Let your spouse know all the things you love about him/her. Tell your children you know they are wonderful human beings whom you love very much. Express something positive to your parents. Share whatever form of appreciation that feels genuine to you. If it’s out of character for you to do this--do it anyway.

Give your loved ones a gift this Thanksgiving: be present, warm up, show love, and enjoy one another’s company. One day out of an entire year, is not a lot to ask for. Your family deserves it and so do you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Challenge: Commit to putting work on hold for the entire day and night of Thanksgiving. Focus on your family; verbally share your appreciation for them, be present—physically and emotionally, and act loving.

P.S.: Thank you readers, for taking the time to read my blog, share your comments, and push me to grow.

November 20, 2006

CREATING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS…Require that you not ignore the red flags.

As a follow up to my last post on conditioning, I thought it would be helpful for people to have something to think about regarding their relationships. Below are a few red flags that your relationship may be damaging your spirit…and it may be time to jump out or lower the heat.

1. Your partner often tells you what you’re thinking is wrong, stupid, not making sense, is unimportant, isn’t true, or says you don’t have a good understanding of what you’re talking about.
2. Your partner tries to isolate you from your friends and family members by: making it uncomfortable to be with family and him/her at the same time, claiming that you care more about your family/friends than you do him/her, giving you a hard time every time you have plans to see family/friends.
3. Your partner loses his/her temper often without provocation. You seldom see it coming and when it does happen, the intensity of his/her anger is palpable even if he/she doesn’t raise his/her voice.
4. Your partner embarrasses you in front of other people by ridiculing you, making a hurtful comment but disguising it as “just being funny”, or directly puts you down in front of others.

Continue reading "CREATING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS…Require that you not ignore the red flags." »

November 15, 2006

THE EFFECTS OF CONDITIONING IN RELATIONSHIPS…yes, it may be worse than you think

Recently, my colleague and I, ran a family of origin workshop. Again and again, the participants would start by saying that their childhood wasn’t that bad. If they were hit by a belt, they would explain that was what was done back then. If there was no affection, they would explain how that was okay since they weren’t very affectionate themselves. The minimization and rationalizations were present with almost every participant.

When it came time to actually share their story with the group, it was almost shocking to hear the discrepancy between what they said they lived with, and what they actually lived with. It was as if they all were raised with blinders on.

I see this same dynamic in couples. I’ve heard couples talk about how great they get along and how much they love each other…then the woman will say they got into a fight. The fight consisted of her partner calling her a slut, grabbing her hair, or throwing something in anger. He says that she does the same thing. They both say that doesn’t happen that often...typically they only yell and swear at each other.

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November 09, 2006

THE END OF THE JOURNEY…What I learned about death

My father passed away on Friday with me, my sister, and my mother at his side. I feel blessed to have been there and glad I was given the gift of closure that so many others are never given.

Throughout this journey there are a few things I’ve learned that I thought I’d share with others. I’m sharing only my point of view and would not be surprised if other’s views are different.

I’ve learned that when someone is dying:
1. Don’t deter them from talking about death—let them speak. Don’t make them pretend that what’s happening isn’t really happening. That is not helpful for them--even if it is helpful for you.
2. Don’t make them talk about dying if they don’t want to. Open the door for them and if they choose to go through it, then go through it with them; if they don’t, then at least know you gave them the opportunity.
3. Don’t say they were wonderful if they weren’t. I believe they will know this isn’t true and it will be more upsetting than comforting. It’s also inauthentic. You don’t have to complain about what they did or didn’t do, and nor do you have to pretend that everything was perfect. Just let them know you love them.

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November 02, 2006

MY FATHER'S JOURNEY: A RELATIONSHIP GIFT

I'm back in Florida with my dad. He's been amazingly strong through this, which has been inspiring to witness. He hasn't eaten or had any liquids in twelve days, yet he doesn't complain. He has always been an incredibly strong individual--a trait that is helping him enormously in his final journey in this life. He responds to yes or no questions by squeezing our hands and he still smiles when we say something funny.

He has always had a great sense of humor; I'm touched that he has kept this even on his death bed. It is one of the wonderful gifts he has given to all of us. When I told this to him and added that I can be particularly funny, he smiled. I then told him the story of my mother-in-law who got run over by a rhino while on a safari in Africa (true story!)...well I thought he was going to spit up he thought it was so funny.

(Note to mother-in-law...I knew you would be okay with giving him a few laughs. Thank you for the material and I'm glad you are okay:-).

Anyway, this has been such an interesting process. Anyone who has gone through this, I'm sure knows what I mean. I feel blessed to have this opportunity and sad to see him go. I went back home Monday and realized that I wanted to be by my father's side during his journey. I returned Wednesday. I've decided to be here until he passes. The doctor says it's likely to be within a couple days. Although I'm torn between being home for my own family and being here for my parents, I can't help but think I would regret not being with him for his final hours.

Continue reading "MY FATHER'S JOURNEY: A RELATIONSHIP GIFT" »

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