I love the view from my back porch on a rainy day, even though the yard is messy this time of year. Our nicely manicured, green summer lawn has quickly morphed into a soggy brown field covered in a blanket of leaves. The rain makes me feel contemplative, as I sit with a blanket around my feet. It has me pondering the important issues I help people process through almost every day: relationships.
I am passionate about these issues. You know the feeling that washes over when you feel truly connected to someone? When you feel known and cared for? Or how about the opposite? The jarring, piercing feeling when it appears as if others are connected to someone and you are left feeling rejected and alone. These are the moments that delight us deeply and hurt us intensely. We were made to be in meaningful, connected, engaged relationships with others. And there are tremendous obstacles in our world that keep those relationships from staying intimately connected.
I love helping people reconnect. It feels like a sacred job. A few of years ago I was working with a married couple of over 30 years who stormed into session; they were angry, defensive, and isolated. At one point in the session, I offered a reflection of how their partner must have been feeling. I noted each of their defensive and withdrawing patterns that left both of them feeling isolated and far apart. When they heard me, a neutral 3rd party, describe the pain each of them had been in, they both spontaneously grabbed each other’s hands and squeezed, with tears in their eyes. A moment of reconnection. A moment of shared empathy and understanding. That is sacred space, and I am honored to walk with people into that space.
Not every story has a happy ending. It is hard work to forgive, to repent, to draw close after hurt. It is scary space, for sure. It takes courage to look into our souls to see how we affect others.
The more I learn about the neuro-circuitry in our brain, the more I am CONVINCED that God built redemption into our DNA. He made a way for our disconnected relational patterns and emotional reactivity to be restored. Restoration in the way we think, feel, and act. We are made with the capacity to be rebuilt. To be made new. To be transformed. From the inside out.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
Soul Adventurer, your relationships are what matter MOST. Not your stuff, your house, your success, your status. What steps do you need to take toward healthier, restored, and connected relationships? What obstacles are keeping your relationships from staying intimately connected?