George Burns once quipped, “Love is a lot like a backache. It doesn’t show
up on X-rays, but you know it’s there.” True indeed. However, it does show
up in one’s attitudes and actions. When a relationship doesn’t feel as
loving as it could, three ingredients are often conspicuous by their
absence. They are admiration, respect, and freedom.
A client called one morning, complaining that his supervisor and co-workers
didn’t notice him or appreciate the work he did. I asked him, “Do you have a
need here that is unfulfilled?” He replied, “Yes, I think I need recognition
for what I do.”
In seeking recognition, people are usually looking for that which
recognition actually provides. I asked, “What if the need was “admiration”
instead of recognition–would that still sound accurate?” He exclaimed,
“Yes! That’s it exactly.” Then I asked him, “How much admiration do you feel
for your supervisor and co- workers, and how do you express it to them?”
As it turned out, my friend was feeling a void for admiration in his
personal relationships as well as his career relationships. However, he was
also leaving a void in his relationship partners by not expressing the
admiration for them that he needed for himself.
Wise words from scripture state, “As you give, so shall you receive.” This
wisdom could not be more true when it comes to relationships. Relationships
must be nurtured to grow and thrive. All people need some degree of
validation from those they live and work with. To provide that validation
requires that we simply tell others–by using simple and sincere
compliments–that they are valuable human beings.
Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see.” We begin with a healthy
self-esteem–a loving relationship with who we are, internally. Then we
allow that self-image to permeate our relationships. In this way, we operate
from a mindset of abundance–that we have plenty of love to give. When we
send love into our relationships, our relationships will return love to us.
In addition to admiration, respect and freedom are two important ingredients
for nurturing a loving relationship.
Richard Bach wrote, “Every person, all the events of your life are there
because you have drawn them there.
What you choose to do with them is up to you.” When we choose to give
respect and freedom, we also give honesty, trust, integrity, forgiveness,
understanding, and tolerance. We allow others to be who they are, as we
would want them to allow us the freedom to be who we are. We might not
always agree with another person’s actions; however, we are able to see the
difference between the person and his or her actions.
Here is an insightful quote (written by an unknown
author) that I keep in my journal. It describes respect and freedom in
“Relationships-of all kinds-are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely,
with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your
hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers.
You may hold onto some of it, but most will be spilled. A relationship is
like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it
is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively, and the
relationship slips away and is lost.”
May all your relationships return to you the authentic joy and love that you
Have a fantastic week! 🙂
C Copyright 2007 by Steve Brunkhorst. Find many inspirational nuggets and
resources for achievement by visiting http://www.AchieveEzine.com