By Nancy Virden (c)2022
Having positive and meaningful connections is a must for us. It is a need, not only a want. Too often, I, and maybe you too, have settled for positive or meaningful or neither. Those relationships leave us (and the other persons) empty.
Positive and Meaningful relationships have three characteristics: validation; love with action; and sincere, noncritical acceptance.
We VALIDATE by acknowledging the importance of the experiences and emotions of others.
When someone shares their emotions, validation may respond with, “That makes sense.” Even unrelatable emotions do make sense when we consider the combination of complex perspectives and experiences. If we had an identical life perhaps we would feel the same way. Validate that.
If someone reports their experiences, respond with, “I believe you” or if you do not trust their perspective say, “that sounds like a big deal.” Having experiences believed and affirmed is crucial. No one really moves on without validation.
We practice validation when we follow this beautiful Biblical teaching: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:14).
LOVE WITH ACTION is much more than mere words. It is not action by which we plan to gain something back; it is an investment in the value of a person. In positive and meaningful connections, people value the other enough to act.
We show active love when we partner in someone’s struggles and joys, expressing love as if we ourselves are in need of it. Jesus said it best in Mark 12:31, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Naturally, we love ourselves, even if warm fuzzies go missing for a time. If rocks fly at your head, will you duck? In a storm, do you seek shelter? We look for food and water each day. These are acts of love we perform for our well-being.
We also want relief from emotional pain. By loving with action we can prove to another person that they matter enough to us to invest in their best.
In SINCERE, NONCRITICAL ACCEPTANCE, we offer kindnesses without making critical judgments about what another person deserves. Our hope is for everyone to be patient with our imperfections! Sincere acceptance sends the message that we are each free to be human and each deserves the benefit of the doubt. This does not mean that we dishonestly embrace another’s poor decisions.
Thessalonians 5:14b reads, “…encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” And Hebrews 13:16 reads, “…do good and …share with others…” -COMMENTS WELCOME
Today’s Helpful Word
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”-Jesus
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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