Relationships are difficult at best of times, but when we are stressed, they present even more challenges.
Our mind works in curious ways when we are stressed or frustrated. It can create stories about life, and others that focus on the negative.
This is always unhelpful, but especially so these days, as some of us may be acting and reacting in uncharacteristic ways, creating conflicts with others that up our already high stress and frustration levels. Instead of getting hurt, upset, or defensive when those around us act out, we need be each other’s soft place to land.
We can head off hurt feelings and conflicts if we remember that we are all reeling from what is now upon us, and by being forgiving and compassionate to ourselves, and those around us if, and when, uncharacteristic attitudes, reactions, or behaviors raise their ugly head, allowing us to keep the peace. We are all managing this as best we can.
)This month’s message is from a section on “Gratitude and Appreciation,” from my upcoming Book 2 of my ‘Our Journey’s to Peace’ Series, which I have tweaked a bit to reflect how our relationships may be impacted with all we are going through these days).
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As we continue managing as best we can through this pandemic with the stresses that arise and the restrictions put upon us, we must ensure that we remain as positive and grateful as we can for what we do have, what we are allowed to do while still staying safe, and for our loved ones – those we can no longer see, and those we share our homes with.
We all have our comfort levels about what we are willing to do as restrictions are lifted. Some of us will do all that is now allowed – while keeping to safety measures, while others of us will still be very slow to venture out or be with people.
The alienation we have all experienced may have caused some of us to become a bit more sensitive than before. Those of us who are very sociable, or whose bubble is small or even non-existent, may feel hurt when others we normally see do not yet want to get-together – even when following safety measures.
Those of us living in our housing bubble with family, or friends, are still restricted to way less outings and get-togethers than before. We are therefore relegated to spending most of our time with the same people – without much opportunity for other social outlets.
The stress of this can pile up. We may get testy. Impatient. And we may start to look at the idiosyncrasies of those we now spend so much time with as no longer cute or helpful, but as annoying. And those of us who have had to create a workspace in cramped or makeshift quarters – especially if with children at home, are very vulnerable to the stress of it all.
We are all different and see and navigate life through our innate personalities and the different lenses our pasts and backgrounds created within us. Every family, friendship, romantic pairing, social encounter, and work relationship is different.
And how we each of us express our fears, emotions, and frustrations is different.
So is how we react to others dealing with their emotions.
Today, it is so important to fully express our feelings. Our fears. Our stresses. Our frustrations. And of not being afraid that we will be ignored, they will be poo-pooed, or that we will be ridiculed for having or expressing them.
And we need a soft place to land – safely being able to express. We can be that soft place for the other – rather than take their feelings, or any uncharacteristic reactions, personally, and become hurt, reactive, or huffy in any way.
Gratitude and appreciation put us in our heart-space. This allows us to be open, honest, and vulnerable with others. It also helps us be accepting of and receptive to others – including to what they are expressing.
This is why being grateful is so vital at this time: for what we do have, the freedoms we can now experience, and for our loved ones – including for the ways they are different from us.
Appreciating Our Differences
Along with unconditional love, trust, flexibility, and forgiveness, gratitude and appreciation for the other – for who they are and what they bring to the partnership are of the utmost importance to a healthy relationship.
The key to creating harmony in any relationship is to embrace each person in our life for who they are, rather than who we expect them to be.
Appreciation for the differences in our relationships has many benefits. Because even though we are all different in our outlooks and ways of navigating life, we all bring something valuable to our relationships – something the other cannot.
And if during this challenging time we do find our self focusing on the differences between us and another, we can simply bring to mind the positive aspects they have brought to the relationship – and keep our focus on that.
Even though it always beneficial to voice our appreciation for the other whenever we can, it is so important these days as we all need every little bit of positive reinforcement to help keep us in a positive mind-frame.
And when a loved one makes an effort to show their love and appreciation to us, we must also show appreciation to them for doing so – no matter how feeble their attempt seems to us. (I continue with these themes in Book 3 of this series, Relationships In an Evolving World, coming out December 2020).
To ensure gratitude for others becomes, or remains, second nature, it is important to regularly feel and express gratitude for those now in your life, as well as those from your past – even any who are, or have been, negative, cruel, judgmental, or done you or others wrong.
Everyone who is, or has been, in our life has imprinted on our soul. They have all brought us something – even if it is only an ah-ha moment, or a lesson we learned about what not to do, or about trust and discernment.
To get to gratitude from negative feelings about another’s attitudes or behaviors,
we must understand that most of us never connected to love.
Many People Not Yet Aligned to Love
Most of us are somewhat misaligned from pure love and therefore unable to consistently feel love enough within our self to express it to all who cross our path.
Some of us have always been able to come from a place of love, others of us have learned to do so, while some people have not yet been able to connect to the love that is buried in their hearts, and thereby are unable to express it outwards.
They may one day, or, they may not. Either way, our job is to offer them love’s qualities* whenever we can – even if they don’t seem to notice.
We do this for our self because whenever we express any of love’s qualities to another, it raises our vibration and consciousness. However, we also do it for them because at an unconscious level, they do receive the offering.
Every little spark of love sent someone’s way acts as an unconscious reminder that they too are love, helping them on their journey to connecting to the love in their hearts they cannot yet access, and to finding peace in their life.
Outlets for Our Emotions: Being a Soft Place for Others to Land
Today, as we are living through the most stressful times most of us have ever been through, we are all managing, or not managing, it all differently.
We all have to deal with the fears and how the changes and restrictions are affecting us.
And we cannot be afraid to voice these, get emotional, or even cry, as buried feeling and emotions are harmful to our mental well being – something we all must diligently protect these days.
We all need safe outlets to express ourselves, but not everyone is comfortable with outward expressions. Voiced fears, emotional outbursts, and crying spells can stress some people.
This is why when we are expressing our self in these, or other ways, we can let the other(s) around us know that this is simply our way of dealing with our feelings and frustrations – our outlet – and that they are not expected to match our outbursts or to fix anything – that we just want a hug or a shoulder to lean on – a soft place to land.
Let’s ensure we are a soft place to land for our loved ones when they need to express themselves – even if how he or she deals with their fears, frustrations, and emotions is different than how we do.
Copyright © Rosemary McCarthy, July 24,2020.
See Here for About my books – published and upcoming,: Published: “Your Journey to Peace, Bridging the Gap Between Religion, Spirituality, Psychology, and Science” and “Why We Are the Way We Are” (Cover images below). Upcoming: “Overcoming our Unconscious Influences, like Anger, Frustration, Control, Neediness, Hurt Feelings, and Blaming Others for Our Unhappiness” (Fall 2020), and “Relationships In an Evolving World” (December 2020). Cover Images Below.
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