This practice can help you examine the presence, absence, and quality of the relationships in your life. Taking a few minutes to meaningfully answer these questions can provide loving guidance about steps you can pursue to broaden and deepen connections with people in your world.
- Consider your day-to-day life, or perhaps your typical overall week. How many people are you regularly connecting with?
- Ex.: Do you talk to anyone in your family? Meet up with or regularly text a friend? How many of these meetings are in person? Do you exchange friendly greetings with neighbors? Write down these names.
- Do you find it hard to come up with names to write down? (It’s ok if the answer is yes.)
- Is your list long and extensive? Do most of your interactions occur virtually or through text, email, or zoom?
- If you have names written down, take a moment and write two or three descriptive words that best characterize the nature of your relationship with a few people on your list. Examine the words you use and consider whether you have someone who both has your back and holds you accountable when you need it. Examples might be…
- Safe, loving, mutual, encouraging, reciprocal, safe, carefully hold you accountable without shaming you.
- Unsafe, volatile, unpredictable, hostile, apathetic, accusing and shaming when they think you’ve done something wrong.
- Distant: Superficial, small-talk, gossip driven, don’t really know you.
- Identify the people on your list you feel comfortable talking to and trusting with your difficult life moments (and the joyous ones, too!)?
- If you struggled to identify people that fit this description, are you spending most of your time with people who neither know you, nor truly care about you?
- If you struggled to identify people that fit this description in your life, is there anyone you can think of who you would like to be on that list? Is there someone you believe would be a good friend for you, but, for a variety of reasons, a friendship has not materialized?
- How might you reach out and offer friendship to someone?
- What might be getting in the way of offering reciprocal friendship to another person? Note that relationships grow in reciprocity – what you give and open yourself to will make room for another to open and make room for you.
Created for Community (Part 1): How We Moved Away From our Village
Humans thrive within community, but our modern age encourages poor relational habits. Think about the nature of your relationships with the help of the practice in this post.
Created for Community (Part 2): The Human Connection in Healthy Spirituality
What does healthy spirituality have to do with our relationships? While our capacity for spirituality is hard-wired, our spirituality is in fact mostly developed relationally. We learn our beliefs and practices from others.
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