“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ~ Brené Brown
I started with a fitting quote from Brené Brown about relationships, which isn’t unusual as I talk about her a lot, and even did in the introduction post on this topic. However, I also wanted to recognize her on this particular day as she often speaks about her roots as a Texan, and wanted to send some love to Texas as they are still in the midst of a devastating storm.
On August 6th, we introduced Pillar #8 of “The Year of the Best You” – Connect With Others. Today, we will recap how the month went in terms of relationships. Our August worksheet allowed us to further explore the impact of relationships in our lives – past, present and future – from a place of gratitude. We wrote down 3 things we were grateful for each day about someone (or a furry someone).
I had been trying to foster a practice of gratitude before this worksheet but it wasn’t specifically on the people/pets in my life. As the days passed, I quickly realized how much I have to be grateful for when it comes to the connection I have with others. I also found myself thinking of how grateful I was for the relationships with people who impacted me but are no longer here. I think it is important to think of past relationships from a place of gratitude as well.
If you know me either personally, or on social media, you know that animals play a significant role in my life and I am truly grateful for the special relationship pets offer. I was listening to the Dear Sugar podcast yesterday that addressed just how important pets can be in terms of a connection outside of ourselves – I can really relate. When I met my husband Colin at the beginning of medical school, I had just became a mom to my cat Sammy. Today, we have four pets and another on the way…need I say more?
It’s the little things
Many people will tell you that after they lose a loved one it is the little things they miss the most, the everydayness. Sometimes we look for grand gestures instead of savoring the everyday moments – a kiss goodbye in the morning, eating dinner together, a glass of wine at the end of the day. Sprinkling gratitude on these little things serves to strengthen relationships. In the article It’s the Little Things: Everyday Gratitude as a Booster Shot for Romantic Relationships, they conclude that “Gratitude may help to turn ‘ordinary’ moments into opportunities for relationship growth, even in the context of already close, communal relations.”
I think back to this past year and for the latter part my son, who was in grade 12, drove my daughter, who was in grade 9, to High School. A common destination, a shared experience and mutual gratitude for one another strengthened their bond beyond what even existed. Did they have their “moments”? Of course. They are teenagers and more importantly humans. However, the positives certainly rose to the top and they both look upon that time so fondly and are thankful they had that time together of everydayness.
In the end, recognition, a thank you, a sign of appreciation, all serve to strengthen the bonds in our lives.
Stay tuned next Sunday as we discuss Pillar #9 of the “Year of the Best You” – Time Management.