That quote from Hugh MacKay says it all. Here I am the change and transition coach, I love change, I support others through their change, I work with businesses to change BUT, I’m not liking the place of change I find myself in. I’m all about change and living the change. I embrace change, I love and thrive in change – normally. However, truthfully, I have to share, there are some familial changes happening that are I’m not absolutely loving. I’m living with two distinct changes. First, caring remotely for elderly parents as their health declines with old age. Second change from parenting teens to adults. Living with your adult child/children. Oh, and to be an over achiever I also am newly married and blended two families together over the last year. Forgot about that big change first draft of this writing. Hmmm perhaps too much change hence my discomfort … maybe, what do you think??
However, I bet I am not the only one living a life with changing relationships. Different folks are living with divorce impacting their lives, change in family status, empty nest, refilled nest, elder parent care, new parents, loss – job, family members, pets, you name it. What is your relationship change you are experiencing now, dreading for the future, or maybe you’ve been through? Have you got experiences you’d like to share? Please share them. I’d love to learn from you.
From the friends and other coaches I’ve spoken to there is no handbook on this topic as we go through these changes. Relationships change from both sides – our side and the other person’s side. There’s a huge ball of emotions that goes with this entire journey. Here’s a snippet of an emotional ball thoughts, “Gee I wish we could just stay the same, I’m scared of what the future brings for us, Why on earth are you acting like that?, I’m not sure I like what I see or hear, Why is this happening? Why now?, and the hmmm, What’s the next step here?, What do I want for our relationship?”
So what does one do when they find themselves in the midst of relationship changes? Here’s a few things I’ve learned along the way that I thought I’d share.
1st – Realize it’s normal and a part of life. All relationships change over time, as we ourselves grow and change. If you stop and think about it, that’s all relationships do over a lifetime is change.
2nd – Take a moment to consider what is most important about this relationship.
3rd Consider what do you want to give to this relationship?
Yes give, relationships are both give and take. It takes two to have a relationship.
Maybe you want to give love, friendship, a shoulder/ear, encouragement, or something unique to your relationship.
If you are finding you want to give negative actions or things consider why and if it’s a healthy relationship. Only you know the answer for you.
4th - What is the most important thing you value in that person?
What is the legacy you want to have with that person?
This can really help you determine the future relationship.
5th - What do you want from the relationship?
Do you need or want something from that person?
love, acknowledgement, praise, friendship, etc.
If you are filling this in with negatives consider why and if it’s a healthy relationship. Only you know the answer for you.
6th - Consider the future relationship and how you would choose to interact, talk, visit and relate to that person. You can only control your behavior and actions. The other person is an amazing unique creation from God.
7th - You might find taking these items and contemplating how you want to respond and coming up with a plan for discussion and future interactions helpful. You could also journal this journey.
Some additional considerations and thoughts for healthy relationships.
Perhaps there are some boundary issues that need to be resolved: see my post on boundaries and resources for boundaries. Click Here.
Maybe it’s time for some open and honest communication. How do you want that to look, feel, and sound?
The beautiful thing is that you get to determine how you want to respond to the change and how you want to participate in the relationship.
I found some articles for further reading on relationships you may find helpful. See the resources section.
I find that open and honest communication is a key foundation to any relationship. Taking time to nurture and be a part of the relationship is also key. It’s taken me a month to write this article and the place I started from was of uncomfortable changes that I wasn’t prepared to deal with. I am now more comfortable with the changes occurring. I have taken time for each relationship, communicated open and honestly, re-established healthy new boundaries, and can happily say that each relationship is in a place of harmony. I have accepted the changes and can live at peace with them and honor the relationships. Is every relationship exactly how I’d like them to be, not exactly. However, I am at peace with where we are. I wish you all the best in your relationships, may they bring you happiness, peace, and love.
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Wishing you Peace & Blessings,
Bold Fulfilled Business & Life Coach - Transition and Loss Specialty
The Four Agreements – by Don Miguel Ruiz
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
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