by Maria Sylvester
Where there is the greatest love, there are always miracles. ~ Willa Cather
When was the last time you celebrated what was working well in your relationships? When was the last time you noted what you were contributing? Rather than feeling inadequate when a connection steers off course, why not help set it straight again by plugging into your relationship superpowers? Do you know what yours are? Noting that is definitely worth a moment of reflection. Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on what isn’t working, or on the problems you are having with someone. Instead, concentrate on what you might do differently in that moment. As I love to remind my coaching clients, it is by recognizing and using our strengths that we experience true joy in relationships. If we harness our strengths, we can also more easily make positive changes when needed. Problems get more quickly resolved. The result: feelings of empowerment in the art of intimacy and connection!
Let today be the day you really appreciate the strengths you bring to all the important relationships in your life. I can pretty much guarantee that if you reflect on and embrace the gifts you offer in your connection with others, you will feel the bonds you have deepen. Not only that, but you will feel the appreciation you have for yourself grow significantly. How delicious is that? And perhaps most importantly, as you recognize and value your interpersonal strengths, you will get even better at utilizing them. Get ready for greater satisfaction in your relationship world.
There are a number of areas where relationship strengths empower us and deserve to be further harvested. Consider, for instance, your ability to communicate with those in your inner circle. Perhaps you are a pro at being able to speak openly and without judgement. This straightforward, direct style helps your dear ones know where you stand, and where they stand with you. Pretty significant, yes? Or maybe you have the talent of addressing tough issues in non-blaming or matter-of-fact ways. What a gift this strength is! Issues can be more easily discussed without the likelihood of your pal shifting into a defensive posture. To be able to communicate respectfully, even in times of trial or stress, can bring a healing quality to many a hard moment. Tension can be greatly reduced by the strength of a gentle, considerate, clear communication style.
Another area relationship strengths deserve to be celebrated relate to commitment values. Maybe you are a person who is highly dependable, and consistent in showing up. These traits foster trust and deepen attachment. Or what about honesty, loyalty, or optimism? These qualities represent powerful strengths that can fuel relationships. If you are a person who brings commitment strengths to relationships, you are helping to foster a spirit of well-being, joy, and hope for others you are close to. With your commitment energy, you demonstrate that the relationship you are participating in is truly important and sacred to you. Imagine what can grow from this. Imagine the love you’ll harvest!
Lastly, let’s consider the strength of being available for another. Sharing quality time is key to developing lasting bonds. Carving out time to be together with those we care about, and to be truly present during this time, is to give the gift of attention. The other person feels seen and acknowledged by your capacity to be strong in presence, especially if you come to them with care and kindness of heart. Spending meaningful time with someone you love also contributes to their sense of feeling known. Sharing experiences together also creates feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and fulfillment — not to mention lots of fun memories that can later be harvested and savored!
Having read to this point, I challenge you now to celebrate the specific strengths you offer those in your world. Recognize as well all the character strengths those in your inner circle shower upon you. What we give attention to is always what grows stronger. Attend not to the problems in your relationships, but rather to the positive qualities you can offer, especially in tough moments. Always be ready to bring more of those strengths forward. Watch for the magic that will happen next! Get ready to harvest treasures.