Committing and Contributing

The holidays always make me think about romance, love and family. I can’t help it, there’s just something about the tree and the lights and the parties that makes me think of coming together as family, those who love each other. Yes, for those in bad relationships, estranged from family or those without or separated for whatever reason during the holidays, it can be very painful and depressing. There are many things that you can do to have a happier holiday, and happier rest of the year with those in your life, but it won’t be easy and won’t be fully possible without participation from all involved.

It starts, believe it or not, with knowing what you need, what you can contribute and what your bottom line is. If you don’t know where you stand in the relationship or family, what you need to be happy, what you can contribute and what your limits on what you’ll accept or trade off are you’ll struggle to be happy and find fulfillment. It’s only when you’re able to accept what you need and ask for or do what it takes to fulfill that need that you’re able to move onto the next part of finding happiness.

The next step after you’ve shared your needs and limits are to hear those of the other people. You have to prioritize your needs or you won’t be able to contribute, but to think that your needs are the only ones that exist or matter is doing a big disservice to your relationship and family. Everyone has needs and it’s up to each of us to do our best to help each other fulfill those needs, and not to deny those needs. When we deny their needs it’s like asking us to deny our needs, and that’s not really in our human nature.

The way that we’re able to support them in fulfilling their needs, even when their needs don’t meet up with ours is because of love and commitment. If you’re not committed to the relationship you’ll struggle to accept and meet the needs presented by your partner. But when your partner matters to you heart and soul, mind and body you’re willing to sacrifice for them because their happiness makes you happy. Just how committed are you to your relationship?

“We never give up wanting things for ourselves, but there comes a day when what we want for ourselves is someone else’s happiness.”  Robert Brault

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