Openness With Others

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Openness with Others | Being open with others is something that requires great courage. Hopefully, by this point, we can begin to put the pieces of connection together and see how they interplay | #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #GreaterPeaceJoyandfreedom #Joyfreedom #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #TipsforConnection #OpennesswithGod #KnowingGod #Body #Mind #Spirit #RespectingtheBoundariesofOthers #Bound #RespectingBound #BoundariesofOthers #OpennesswithOthersOpenness with Others

Being open with others is something that requires great courage. Hopefully, by this point, we can begin to put the pieces of connection together and see how they interplay. We have looked at how having a foundation of being known deeply and treasured dearly by God gives us the highest authority upon which to base our identity. Also, we have discussed viewing other people as precious to the Lord and not basing our contentment on their thoughts or actions. It is from this vantage point we can engage with others, knowing their response to us does not make or break us, no matter how truly painful it might be. Another’s actions toward us do not affect our value in any way, because we have inherent worth as children of God.

Being able to be vulnerable with another is far easier when we have grown, and continue to grow, in connection to God and ourselves. It’s also important to remember that trust is a process. The same way we grow in trust with the Lord and with ourselves, we also grow in our ability to navigate a relationship with another person. This is not accomplished at one time, but is a process that takes time. As discussed, we will generally begin a relationship by sharing something good about ourselves. If we are compassionately received, we may venture into sharing one of our less glorious moments. Perhaps we even come to share an area of hurt, struggle, or shame. This is the process of growing in relationship. Interestingly, scripture actually tells us not to trust others (Micah 7:5-6). If we are looking for another person not to fail us, we will be disappointed, because every person is as human as we are. Only God will not break our trust. Instead, we should look for noble intentions and efforts at consistent good will from other people, and understand that there may be times when they fail us out of their own human frailty.

What are the signs that another person wills us good? Does the other person truly know us, or make efforts to do so? Do they treat us in a way that shows us they value us for who we are or do we feel used as a means for them to get their desired goal? Do they respect our physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries or do they send the message we are not allowed to have limits? If we see red flags in any of these outer layers of connection, we may want to tread the waters of vulnerability very carefully and not have high expectations for healthy connection with them at this time. It may be risky to share sensitive information with them in hopes of being known. Remember when others aren’t able to be present to truly hear and see us, recognize our value as children of God, or respect the boundaries we have put in place, often it is not personal. Rather, it is a reflection of what they’re capable of at the time.

Finally, in all peer relationships, there ought to be reciprocity – give and take. It doesn’t mean we keep score, and certainly some days are better than others. Patience and understanding with others is essential. We don’t want to engage with others with a constant scrutiny of every interaction, the same way we would fail if we were judged so harshly. Given the ebb and flow of life and circumstances, these factors of connection can be guidelines to help us avoid drama and hurt in relationships. With practice we will grow in greater peace and fulfillment from the Lord’s indwelling presence, and that which we receive will flow from us out to others.

May the Lord give you peace!

Margaret

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