In the New Year, take an honest approach to relationships


Good, we have that resolution moment out of the way. Now to begin a movement of another kind.

At some time or another, we have all put our good intentions out there as a resolution for another year and then days later we are repeating our past mistakes, and nothing changed.

Then comes the guilt-trip. Do not pack for that trip since guilt is only good for two seconds and a change. We must acknowledge what we thought was a good idea was simply an idea and we did not mean we would commit to a change.

Hint: we change when it becomes painful enough.

Between profession and experience the one thing I have learned is: They are watching us. And by ‘they,’ I mean our children.

Wisdom tells me we are only as good as our teachers. As the late poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou once predicted, once we know better, we do better.

We are not able to change anything without new knowledge. Like the fountain of youth, I have discovered I can forgive myself for not having the knowledge and asking my children to be better parents than I was.

February is the Love month. I always tell my friends and family that I love them. There are a few I have freaked out by my declaration of love. Many think it is about couple or sexual love. It is about love. The kind of love born of respect.

Regardless of whether it is spouses, children or friends, it is love.
Love is patience. Practice it with one another.

We all have our failings and limitations. Remember we learn to do better. It is easy to be all about feelings, but what if we allow the other person theirs; we seek to understand what it is that is important to them, too.

I ask, help me understand what is important to you and I will help you understand what is important to me. Criticism is reduced and removed to seeking understanding. Then we commit to understanding and resolution.

Show love and gratitude. Some can give a lot to love and gratitude, but many do not understand what that means.
Let people know you are grateful they are in your life. Gratitude is not necessarily about affection or emotions but acceptance and appreciation. Love the important people in your life unconditionally, warts and all.

Sometimes it is awkward and lacks understanding, however, I have not met anyone who does not understand acceptance from age 4 to 104. We all desire acceptance, unconditionally.

Always choose honesty. If you become unable to express your honesty with yourself or another, then you are not truthful with yourself or the other.

Honesty can sometimes be a difficult choice. But it sets the foundation of our relationships. It’s a punishment to be told something we think is a truth, only to find out later that it was not.

Conflicted ideas can lead to chaos.

We often do not trust our own instincts to be valid.

But don’t overthink or overanalyze.

Trust your gut and heart tell you the truth and do not keep feelings from being expressed appropriately.

And always, tell yourself you are loved by you.

Happy New Year.

This column was first published in the February edition of InMaricopa magazine.