Hello Reader! Why can’t relationships be as easy as the lyrics to a Big Band song, rather than as drama-filled as most ‘80’s ballads?! If everyone could hear the soundtrack I play in head, it would consist of a LOT of Big Band era. I’m sure I have a “golden age” mentality but those songs often were clear, and much more hope-filled.
I like to have hope for my relationships and my own ability to love others well. Relationships are difficult but they can have so much promise and potential! We can often get in our own way by placing limits on our relationships. I don’t want you to be constrained by your own limits but to have the freedom found in the perspective of opportunity. I hope it’s okay with you that I hope that for your life too.
So in the words of Bob Newhart, “Stop It”.
Stop looking at the limits in your relationships and start looking through the eye of opportunity. Every relationship has natural and healthy limits along with some un-helpful limits too. Every relationship also has opportunities as well.
Right now, think about that relationship that’s near and dear for you or perhaps one that’s occupying some emotional space. Got the other persons face in mind? Are you more aware of the limitations or opportunities?
Start looking for opportunity
Sometimes we place limits due to our past hurts or our future fear or anxiety. Sometimes we are limited in relationship due to budgetary constraints or logistical availability. When hurt or fear comes into play, they always invite you to mind the rules of limits. Don’t let the limits becomes all you see in the relationship.
Opportunity in relationship doesn’t mean opportunistic. It does mean looking for what could be and how to get there.
Which one now?
How do you identity which one your relationship has more now?
A relationship with opportunity looks like both people growing in these ways:
- There is self-, and other-, respect with clear boundaries that enhance the relationship
- You feel safe to be real without the constant pressure to be perfect
- Each person treats the other as an equal
- Sexuality is founded in your relationship with God; and at a comfortable, appropriate, and healthy place that is not out of control nor repressed
- Fulfillment comes more from your individual identities
- Satisfaction comes from having the less than perfect but truly healthy be beautifully imperfect in the light of God’s ideal
Don’t stop with individual growth and relational opportunity
We were not made to just be fully functional human beings. We were made to love, know and be known.
The person in a relationship with opportunity has taken their own “…bonded, separate, forgiving, adult self” into the world and honors others with serving love. This kind of serving love only functions as an opportunity in a healthy relationship which is one that allows you to grow into your true God-given self, one that allows you to grow closer to God, and one that allows you to grow in community with other healthy friends.
Opportunity will always come as you continue on the journey of wholeness and healing in the light of your identity in Christ in a community of others seeking the same and offering tons of grace to each other in the process. Stop looking at the limits and start looking at the opportunities founded in Godly serving love.
Want more tips for your relationship? Give me a call or send me an email!
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs the Streams Counseling Center in Austin, Texas and co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com or www.renue.me
- Photo from cushandnooks.blogspot.co.nz on pinterest