Protecting the Heart of a Lifelong Relationship

I have been on a mission it seems as of late, the mission of removing toxicity from lifelong relationships. I also am in the process of learning that protecting the heart of a lifelong relationship is what is needed for growth. Often, I have wondered where the breakdown of relationships begin. Is it a single moment, or a compilation of hurts of unforeseen events? I can think of a few relation/friend “ships” that I have had that started off amazing. Laughs. Long Talks. Connections. You know “BFF” stuff. And at some point the degradation begin to set in. The “ship” began to sail away.

“The “ship” began to sail away,” indeed. Before I go any further, I want you, for just a second, to think about your relationships and friendships as a vessel. A vessel carrying cargo bringing things into the harbor, your harbor (heart) to be exact. Every person you meet is like a ship sailing into your life and you are the Harbor’s Captain with the ability to direct the ship to where it should set up shop. So, recap. You are the Captain. Everyone is the ship. Now, you are not the Captain of everyone’s ship. You just decide where they anchor and tie down in your harbor. We are the bosses of no one. (including their ship)

Moving on.

Now the thing about our “harbor” or our heart is that we can never be 100% certain who or when new ships will sail in. But we are 100% responsible of how we interact with these ships. Do we take the time to learn about who is coming into our harbor, or do we just see the outward appearances and decide what is good enough based upon our ignorance to the new. Each ship sailing in has something new to offer. Do we disregard, assume, prejudge the ships and what they have to offer before fully opening our hearts to receive? I mean, all a ship has is it’s ship. It’s inner workings that makes it go.

Now think about your relationships. Do you ever discredit anyone’s thoughts, feelings, or ideas? Think about it. Is this you or is this people that enter your life. A person’s thoughts, feelings, or ideas that a person actually has when entering the world are the only things that they can take with them when leaving. These are the only things they truly possess as their own.  Those are the only things a person has that won’t go up in smoke in the event of a house fire, it can’t be washed away in a flood.

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A person’s thoughts, feelings, and ideas are the only true contribution that they have to the world, their sole possession. Whether you agree or not, you have to protect the heart of the relationship. When you put someone down for their inner thoughts, or deepest feelings, or most sincere ideas, you have at this time discredited that person’s very being. You have verbally and non-verbally told that person that the only contributions that they can make to the world, their world, are invalid and insignificant. You have expressed to them that the only thing they can truly call theirs means nothing… OUCH!!!

This single act can ultimately destroy a person’s spirit. Let the toxicity of the relationship begin! They will no longer see nor feel the need to express with you. You will at this point begin to lose this person. Maybe not physically, but mentally, emotionally, and possibly spiritually. That “ship” will sail! Protect the heart of those you cherish.

Never degrade a person for who they are, for what they think, or how they may be feeling… even if you don’t agree with their logic. The time needs to be taken to understand where a person is coming from. Even if it appears to be left field… Sometimes we may have to take a trip to the left side of the field to see exactly what caused their way of thinking. It is quite crucial to take the time to understand a person and see where they are coming from, from this you will gain a better appreciation for them. On the flip side of that coin, it can also be deemed as crucial if you don’t. You may be the one who is actually missing out.

Protect the heart of the ones you love and spend time with those who are protective of you. We all need a few good friends. I wish that for you, but just know it starts with you.

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