On July 2 as Birgitt and Ward Williams (my mom and step-dad) were returning home from facilitating a Leading and Acting from a New Level of Consciousness workshop in Belgium, Ward was overcome by intolerable pain in his head. He was eventually diagnosed with a massive stroke – a condition that is often fatal and usually results in paralysis and other life-long side effects.
As I sit here today, it’s with great joy that I share that he is going to make a complete recovery. It’s truly a miracle.
Today’s post is entitled Relationships Matter, so you might be wondering what that’s got to do with a stroke.
Crisis like these highlight the fact that relationships matter. Perhaps I’m stating the obvious here, but you certainly become clear about how much you love someone when their life is on the line. In this crisis, I’ve also become aware of how much so many other relationships matter, and that’s where I’m headed today.
Relationships Matter More Than You Think
In health coaching, we focus a lot on something called primary nutrition. Essentially, it’s the idea that the stuff that we do to nourish ourselves without food is the primary nutrition that our bodies and our souls need. We nourish ourselves with exercise (ever noticed you feel less hungry after a workout?), a fulfilling career, a deep and meaningful spiritual practice, and of course, with the relationships we participate in.
Relationships matter to our current state of health. When we are involved in life-nurturing relationships with our partner, parents, children, friends and colleagues, it’s much easier to feel joyful and optimistic about life. There is less stress when you know you can count on the people around you to support you, and you don’t worry because of the drama or baggage associated with them. You’re more likely to be socially active and engaged, getting out of the house and enjoying life.
You’re also less likely to turn to food to fill the void left by missing relationships or to overeat to try to stuff down or cover up negative emotions that come along with toxic relationships.
Odds are, as you’ve been reading this, names came to mind. A hopefully long list of the people with whom you are in life-nurturing relationships and a hopefully not so long list of those more toxic relationships that might be leading you to a not so good relationship with food.
A few weeks ago, I would have said that yes, relationships matter and I’m fortunate to have a life filled with plenty of those life-nurturing relationships, thank-you-very-much. And, it’s true. The last couple of weeks have shown me just how many people there are in my life who truly care and who are really important to me.
What’s been even more inspiring for me is the people who I have reconnected with over this particular crisis. People who had come into my life for a variety of reasons, and then for an equal number of reasons fell out of contact. Relationships that are being rekindled and attended to in a whole new way. People who are stepping up and offering support however they are able to.
It’s been special, awe-inspiring, and heart-stretching to be a part of. Relationships matter. A lot. That’s what I’ve taken away the most from this experience.
Relationships Matter. So, What Are You Going To Do About It?
If you’re still reading, hopefully you agree that relationships matter too. As for those lists of names that popped into your head when you were reading earlier about life-nurturing and toxic relationships – what are you going to do about it?
Who is or has been life-nurturing in your life? Want to call them and let them know? Maybe it’s been a while since you last connected. This is your opportunity to reach out.
Those relationships with more toxic results? Maybe it’s time for them to come to an end so you can stop wasting your precious energy on relationships that aren’t life nurturing. It might be more likely that this is an opportunity to have a courageous conversation with that person to get the relationship back on track.
Over my time as a health coach, I’ve been privileged to hold space for many people as they’ve had those courageous conversations. It’s been beautiful to watch. Relationships that were once strained becoming more loving and open. Estrangements over wrongs long-forgiven that were able to come back together. People drawing closer together, recognizing that relationships matter and committing to doing what it takes to uphold that.
What actions are you going to take on your relationships today? If you need help making it happen, give me a call.