With V-Day upon us, it’s the perfect time to take inventory of the many kinds of love in our lives. Whether you’re a parent or a partner, a sibling or a soul sister—whatever the relationship, there’s always a give and take. While sometimes unspoken, each person brings their own hopes and dreams to the relationship and a unique way of supporting the other. But if the waves of love throw your relationship off balance, what do you do next?
Tune in as Max learns to navigate the ebb and flow of love and finds what anchors his heart.
Everyone feels misunderstood at times—even those on the world stage. I’d like to introduce you to a dear friend and change-maker who is courageous enough to share her journey.
This twenty-five-year-old is working to reduce violence and gender discrimination while empowering women in Pakistan. Her parents are proud but they are concerned about her safety. Yet her life calling constantly puts her in the face of danger. It’s not surprising that she often finds herself misunderstood and torn between her roles of daughter and activist.
Ever feel that unspoken tension between the various roles you play?
Two weeks out, you’d think I’d have noticed that it was strange to get a direct flight from JFK to San Francisco for $167. Instead, I remember thinking, Wow, it’s my lucky day.
At 5:45 a.m., Dad made me chai and then we drove to the airport with no traffic in sight. We pulled up to Terminal 4. There were no lines. It struck me as a little odd, but I had been away from home for three weeks and was looking forward to flying my favorite airline, Virgin America, so I didn’t pay attention.
Tracking a lead on a great restaurant is as vital to my survival as locating the nearest herd of bison must have been to a caveman. I’m lucky, because San Francisco has mastered the art of providing delicious daily grub – even take out. After 12 years of living in the Bay Area, I’ve come to expect courteous wait staff and organic, fresh food. What I didn’t expect is that how I ordered my food also mattered. Who knew that it could not only fill my stomach, but also nourish my soul?
Janet, a 44-year-old executive at a consulting firm, came to me complaining of headaches, insomnia, and a constant nagging in her stomach. She said her gut felt like it was tied in knots. At work Janet was a high performer and was rewarded with a promotion for always saying yes. She found herself awake at 3 a.m. worrying about how she would accomplish all she had committed herself to. Her physician had told her that although she was under an enormous amount of stress, there was “nothing medically wrong with her.” He prescribed her pain, sleep and antacid medications for her symptoms.
Over the last decade working in hospitals, I was surprised by the number of times learning the skills to communicate helped alleviate my patients’ physical symptoms and even helped them get rid of a dependence on certain medications.
Research shows that communicating effectively helps us better cope with stress, nurtures our relationships, and enhances our health and self esteem. Those who have solid relationships where they can share their emotions and feel supported tend to live longer. Those who feel misunderstood report a higher rate of depression, which weakens the immune system and makes them more vulnerable to disease.
…you know, when you make plans with someone and they’re a no-show.
Are you the one who takes commitment seriously and often find yourself disappointed and hurt when others cancel at the last minute?
Do you make commitments with others and reserve the right to CHANGE YOUR MIND depending on how you feel in the moment?
Depending on who you’re dealing with, chances are, at some point, you have been either the FLAKE or the FLAKEE! Regardless, flaking causes HUGE STRESS in relationships and over time takes a toll on your health.
“All the buried seeds crack open in the dark, the instant they surrender to a process they can’t see.” Mark Nepo
As far as I’m concerned, surrender is a swear word. I’ve spent a large part of my life in resistance and have only recently come to realize it’s because I’m addicted to the-need-to-know. I want to control the outcome. I want to do it right. I want to get an A. I want you to think I’ve got it all together. And I definitely don’t want to get messy.
In my life this has shown up most obviously in romantic love.
March and April show us the first signs of spring. The daffodils begin to peek out from the soil. Buds magically appear on the trees. And the world begins to notice new signs of life. Perhaps now is a good time to take a cue from nature and get curious about new ways you want to emerge in the world.
One way I’m emerging is that I’m transitioning from being a doctor and leadership consultant into blogging and becoming an author. Learning to structure and create meaningful work in the form of written word is a new medium for me.
In the previous blog, I began discussing about the importance of knowing ourselves first and asking for what we need before we can build a meaningful, lasting relationship with others. I am now writing in order to build upon that theme and how well-intentioned people can love one another and also miss the boat on how to make their partners feel loved and valued in a relationship.
Can you describe with ease the ways you feel valued and heard? Dr. Gary Chapman discusses maintaining healthy relationships in his wonderful book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.