July 30, 2019

Deep and Positive Connections are Key to Thriving

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How are your key relationships?

Along with living a life of purpose where gifts and goals align, a key to thriving* is having great relationships. Relationships that experience a healthy level of connectedness provide an atmosphere that enables us to thrive. We flourish with the right conditions. Similar to an orchid plant in an orchid house, where moisture and temperature are regulated for optimal growth.

Do I experience high connectedness?

We can experience high connectedness in positive relationships where there is acceptance, love, closeness, and trust. These relationships are robust and endure the stress of life. Here people find encouragement. Connected relationships help us grow as they bring out the best in us. We feel valued and protected. Concern is demonstrated and the embrace is normal. ‘Perfect’ is not the word, as the relationship comprises people, but ‘sorry’ and ‘forgiveness’ are. Value relationship more than being right.

Relational connectedness is something we need to fight for. Culture today has two trends that oppose this—disposability and superficiality of relationships.

When something breaks we are quick to write it off rather than fix it. So, too, with relationships. When it gets tough, it’s easy to step back, isolate and withdraw. Sometimes, we need to do this is for our health, but it’s to our detriment if this becomes the way we normally deal with difficulties. People who experience family breakup are more likely to break up under pressure of life. When we experience brokenness in relationships, it makes it harder to trust others. Trust makes us thrive.

Where have you experienced brokenness in relationships?

Further, people are far more transient, relocating much more than in previous generations. Relocating uproots people socially. Although we can make friends with people who become like a new family, all these disconnections impact the depth of our new connections. The consequence is that we often do not go to deeper levels of connection in new relationships.

Who can help you find healing?

Who are you helping to thrive through your great connection with them?

It is great to be able to form new friendship and connections but let’s make sure our existing relationships grow and build. Highly value long term friendships. These are key to thriving through the storms of life. Relationships can grow stronger if we choose.

Are you really or just virtually connected?

Along with disposable relationships, our culture has become more superficial in relationships. We long for connection but our society is becoming more isolated and disconnected. More adults are living alone than ever before. We are apparently more connected and more accessible through our phones and social media. Virtual reality has become a thing. Augmented reality is here. A reality that is simulated and synthetic.

Build deep social connections through actually being with people. Face-to-face in real-time. Let technology and social media be an adjunct to the main thing of doing life together. The sharing of meals and walking together through life. Build connections where you are valued. Make time for friendships to form. Find places where genuine concern is practised. Enduring relationships that defend each other. Where people can cry, laugh and at times give and receive a hug.

Do you belong to a small group?

Small groups are a great place to find community. Here we can find affirmation, acceptance and give value to others. In this space, we can thrive. In thriving, we grow to become the people we were made to be.

Invest in your connections, value them and make them strong as here is an environment that is necessary for you and them to thrive.

I’d love to hear what’s been helpful. Drop a comment. Send me an email.

*Thriving is one of the four building blocks of flourishing. See Dr Matt Bloom lead researcher FlM project at the University of Notre Dame

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