Have you ever left a book on a shelf and forgot you had it? What happens to the book? It collects dust and, because it is out of sight, it loses its use. Something that once had value in your life and was important, was put away and neglected. When the time comes where you remember the book or are doing some Spring cleaning, you are surprised at how it looks, wipe it down from top to bottom and maybe even decide to give it another read.
This same concept goes for the relationships in our lives. How much value and effort are you putting into the people around you? Are they important for only a period in life and then left on a shelf? If we are one of those people who have not put in the time to make our relationships continually fruitful, then we need to start shaking off the dust and re-igniting the fire.
We all like to feel valued by others, and in the same way our friends, partners, and family all want that feeling of being needed from us. That doesn't mean to put all your time into spending every moment with others, but we must seek out a healthy balance of having quality “me time” and having quality “us time”. We need to continue to have our own quiet time, away from the constant demands of life, and we need to strive to build our relationships with those important to us by setting aside time with them. The key to both is the word quality. Making sure the time we are able to spend with others is dedicated, undistracted, and consistent.
There is an old saying- “no man is an island”, meaning we were not created for lonely living. We were made to desire friendships and relationships, but we sometimes forget about the things we need to do to maintain them. One great way to start making the move is by doing a personal inventory of our relationships. Am I giving and adding to the relationship? Am I only taking from the relationship? Are there people in my life that I appreciate but haven't shown it enough to? Are there people I should be spending less time with as they are producing no fruit in my life?
During this season as we put away our Winter clothes and trade them in for Spring and Summer outfits, let us also do some re-organizing and cleaning in our personal lives. Start scheduling in dinners with friends and date nights with our partners, so that these things become a regular part of our lives. The more we nurture our relationships, the more exciting they become and in turn the more appreciated our loved ones feel. Let’s not wait till birthdays or holidays to let those around us know we care, and start re-kindling the laughs and memories today.
Photo credit: PicJumbo