We’ve all heard the old adage “You eat an elephant one bite at a time”. It’s usually used in reference to a problem that seems too big to tackle when you look at it as a whole…but if you step back and tackle it bit by bit, it’s manageable.
The same principle can be applied to how we treat our relationships. Whether through our words, actions, or silence bit by bit we can erode away what once was a solid foundation…leaving the relationship on shaky ground.
There comes a time in a relationship when you reach the tipping point. That moment when you’ve either invested enough time…or the relationship is still new enough…that the trust flows freely. Hearts are open…eyes are open…things seem magical. The relationship feels like it’s invincible.
Then somewhere along the line, we settle in…maybe we aren’t always on our best behavior. We start to feel a little too confident that the relationship can weather whatever comes at it….or we are completely unprepared for stormy weather.
This person that once was so important to us that we couldn’t bare the thought of hurting their heart becomes so familiar that we forget to be gentle. We forget that everyone…including ourselves…is dealing with life and all that entails. That more than anything, we all just want to feel loved…supported…protected.
The worst feeling in the world is that moment when you doubt how much your loved one cares…when you question why they would say or do something…when you feel yourself energetically stepping back in self-protection mode. When you start to wonder whether…or how much…you should trust.
That’s why we need to treat each other…one another’s hearts…like the fragile gifts they are. Being in a relationship — whether family, friends, or lovers — is like taking your heart out of your chest and handing it to the other person. Entrusting that they will protect it like it was their own.
Maybe that’s the problem sometimes…as humans, we can be so mean to ourselves. We forget to be kind to ourselves…to use forgiving and accepting language…to be soft and gentle with our actions. If we can’t muster tending to ourselves in a loving manner, how can we ever hope to treat others in such a fashion…consistently?
Let’s try to be kinder with our selves and our loved ones. Let’s remember that things…people…relationships…are often more easily destroyed than built up. Let’s remember that the world is in desperate need of kindness and it begins with each of us.