How are your connections doing?
- How connected are you to your past? Sometimes people want to forget it but don't realize that may be their source of getting stuck. Not being able to move forward or change our historical patterns often times is an indicator that we haven't processed the past effectively to understand it courageously and compassionately. Positive connection to the past is seeing it as part of our story which is unfolding today with greater clarity as we get better and better at understanding what happened to us with candor and grace.
- How about our parents? When we're young, we need our parents to provide, teach, and lead us to become independent, responsible, caring people. But that connection needs to change as we become adults; we can't really be ourselves if we're always under their authority. Healthy parents prepare their kids for launch - with no strings attached. This is even more important when / if we marry. How many dysfunctional families do you know of where moms and dads still have say over their kids' adult lives and marriages - yuck!
- If we're married, what about our spouses? They are the most important person on the earth for us; at least that's what we said when we married them. We are one flesh with them. God intended this relationship to be the most accurate reflection of His image. No wonder all hell breaks loose when this relationship goes south.
- If we have kids, how are we connecting to their hearts? So many moms and dads are preoccupied with their education and development - with truck loads of extracurriculars and recreation. And all that is incredibly important. But if the heart is ignored, neglected, or simply unknown, we miss out on what's most important - our kids' true selves and being a significant support in helping them be authentic to find their passion and purpose.
- How connected are we to our finances? Budgets, cash flow, investments, college savings, retirement, insurances, mortgages can create quite a complex situation. Are we educated and equipped to make healthy decisions for long term growth and stability?
- The future? How much thought have we given to the next decade? Do we have one left? Two? Three? Five? Will we become isolated or will we thrive in community? How long will our savings last? Will we have health to enjoy or at least minimize the health bills? To create a positive future, we need clarity, sound choices, creativity, and commitment to what's most important. Have we structured those elements as priorities?
- How connected are we to our health? It's common to work and work and work with minimal self care and then be shocked with acute health issues that aren't easily gotten over. Or worse, experiencing big challenges like cancer, stroke, heart attack, auto immune diseases which put huge strains on relationships and finances. Not that this is bad, but just an indicator that we need to be well connected to our health.
- What about our inner life? Vision, goals, fears, limitations, desires, faith, and love? What about our souls and God? Moreover, how connected are we to the ways we manage pain and stress? All those elements of our interior world reveal our frame of reference - whether we're fear-based, love-based, other-centered, God-centered, self-centered. Our inner life is the place where real security, significance and strength reside. God wants to free our inner lives to experience His power there. But too often, we neglect this most essential part of us and miss out on the amazing outcomes He intended from the beginning.
- How connected are we to our work? If it consumes us, we may be too connected. If we dread it, we're disengaged. If it's fulfilling, the connection is positive and meaningful! If it doesn't capture our interest and passion, maybe it's time to find new work. Does it force our loved ones to compete for our time and attention?
- How connected are you to what's most important to you? Your needs, wants, dreams? Growing your relationships with your loved ones, those who bring the deepest joy and peace to your heart? Love is the greatest gift of all and it is what our souls want and need the most. But are there things that keep getting in the way? What activities consistently take time away from what your heart needs the most?
- How connected are you to God? He's the life source - the author and completer of your life. He's the redeemer who knows everyone's reality and has empathized with us in the greatest way through Christ, His Son. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God has revealed His greatest, long term (eternal) solution for all our tragedies, failures, hurts, and desolations. The cross speaks of the central significance of pain and death in God's mind and heart. The resurrection proclaims the power of His Spirit to restore, renew, and even reframe our most desperate losses and deficiencies. In Christ, we have absolute hope in the midst of our overwhelming moments of loneliness and pain.
Which connections do you resonate with? If none, what connections are important to you and what are you doing with them?