Relationships as a Part of Your “Yes”–Your Yes for 2015: Day 5

Relationships as a Part of Your “Yes”–Your Yes for 2015: Day 5 January 9, 2015

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Welcome to Day 5 of our “Your Yes for 2015” Adventure. If you’re joining us today for the first time, find the index of all of the days here.

Thank you to those of you who reached our yesterday with well wishes and prayers. I arrived safely at my destination. While I’m still not feeling 100%, I’m buoyed by your generous love.

Today, I want to briefly challenge you with the second of the eight “virtues” that I believe will underscore and contribute to your “Yes” for 2015: relationships.

In Chapter Two of  The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living I discuss the concept of “generativity”. No, that is not a word I made up, I promise! I do hope that if you haven’t read the book, you’ll look into the concept.

Yes to Relationships

For today, I’d like to focus on how the way in which we generously give ourselves to our relationships can make or break the way we hope to give our lives to God. If you’ve set goals for this year, I challenge you today to reassess them in the context of your relationships. How many of your goals are solitary, and how many of them relate to other people in your life?

I know in receiving feedback from some of you that “Yes” goals such as “pray more as a family” or “communicate more effectively with my spouse” are part of the “Yes” you hope to give to God this year. So my next question may feel silly, but I’m going to ask it anyway:

Have your talked with your loved one about your goal(s), especially if they are a part of that goal?

My Past Mistakes

Let’s take for example “Mary”, whose “Yes” goal for this year is to include family morning prayer as a part of her weekday morning routines. (Mary, by the way, is fictional in this case.) I’d urge Mary to spend some time this weekend honestly sharing this “Yes to God” goal with her family and seeking their input and feedback. Perhaps in the past Mary has been like me in certain goals I’ve set in the past:

I decide on a goal involving my family.
I craft my plan.
I implement my plan without informing anyone why or how or what has motivated the plan.
My plan, goal or resolution is met with resistance because my family feels confused as to why I’ve suddenly flung xyz new routine on them.
My plan fails.
I give up on my goal.

For a relationship “Yes” to be effective and fruitful, we need to begin that “Yes” by involving the other parties in the relationship. So let’s take that case of “pray more as a family”. This weekend is the perfect time to come together, to express your desire, to hear your family’s feedback and to get their buy in.

And what if they resist? Then you need to address that as well. Respectfully, compassionately, patiently, but also firmly. If this is a priority for you, then it’s not too much to ask your loved ones to give some of their time and energy to respectfully engaging in the process.

The final thing I’d like to say today is that I hope that at least a portion of your “Yes to God” for 2015 will involve your relationships. Consider your marriage, your parenthood, your friendships, and if you are a single person your strongest relationships with others in your life. How are you generously giving yourself to those relationships? If they feel broken or in decay, what part can you effectively play in helping them to blossom and grow again? Is outside support or counseling needed? Then make an action plan today to make that happen.

The family, as the fundamental and essential educating community, is the privileged means for transmitting the religious and cultural values which help the person to acquire his or her own identity. Founded on love and open to the gift of life, the family contains in itself the very future of society; its most special task is to contribute effectively to a future of peace. Pope St. John Paul II

To Ponder:

  • How is a “Yes to relationships” part of your 2015 “Yes to God”?
  • What is your plan for any resistance you may meet with in your relational goals?
  • How do you hope to grow closer to God and to your loved ones through the goals that you have set for this year?

Let Us Pray:

Father God, this life is not destined to be lived alone. Today, we lift our relationships with our loved ones up to you. Bless them and help us to be generously committed to the lives of those we love. Help us to give more than we take, to aim for compassion and understanding, and to see you reflected in the eyes of those we serve. Fill our lonely hearts with love. We give you this day.  Amen.

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