Are you more committed to the relationship’s growth or to your role within the relationship?
In a perfect world everyone’s answer would be both; however, the reality is that most people conform to one or the other. Before exploring each aspect further, let me give you two examples that will help clarify their meanings from two of my book readers’ stories.
Reader A loves his wife and has been married for over twenty years. He noticed that within the last few years he has put on a substantial amount of weight. With the utmost sincerity, he has attempted to exercise more and design meal plans with lower calorie intake but there is an issue that keeps pulling him backwards. His wife loves food and cooking. She is not as interested in losing weight and cooks meals that Reader A really knows are against his health goals, but due to his POSITION as a loving husband, he eats every meal because he feels as if it is one of his responsibilities to the relationship.
Reader B is not as turned on as she used to be by her husband. Their date nights are nonexistent and their communication has lessened over the last ten years. Homelife has become a system that includes wake ups, brief exchanges in the morning as they prepare for work and making sure the kids do their chores and homework. Slowly but surely, she feels that the romance has evaporated; however, they have consistently kept their normal three times per week sexual intercourse routine up over the course of the marriage. She does everything in her power to make sure he is pleased; however, she is not pleased in the process. Due to her POSITION as a wife, she continues to go along with the flow because she feels as if it is one of her responsibilities to the relationship.
In both of these situations, regardless of their intent, they are both more committed to the POSITION’S responsibilities than to the relationship’s growth. If the priority of each partner is not to ensure that the relationship’s foundation is constantly getting stronger, it will slowly break down. If one party suffers, the relationship suffers. It may look good but if the essential parts of it are not being serviced, how can it grow towards unknown potential. Reader A’s position may eventually lead to causing his wife to be a widow way earlier than she should be, which is the last thing he wants. Reader B’s position is leading to self imposed stress that also has its share of negative effects. Communication is also a missing element in both cases, but the point of sharing these situations is to give you a clearer understanding of the opening question. Read it again and think about which one you are more committed to.
To make it really simple, let’s compare the relationship’s growth to the life of a plant. For the last few weeks I have been helping a friend, Robert, start a garden. Him and his wife Loni are growing their own vegetables, fruit and spices, but the main reason is to help give their one year old daughter the opportunity to bond with nature, while learning certain principles about cultivating land; these processes will help her in numerous ways as those guidelines are applied to other areas in her life as she gets older. In a conversation while he was tilling the soil, he said “You got to work on the dirt before you work on the plant.” I had to write it down in my powerful quote list. The soil fits into this discussion because if it is not tilled and properly prepared, the quality of what comes out of it will be impacted. The soil health guide states “ The health of this soil determines whether crops can grow successfully, whether a farm business is profitable and whether an enterprise is sustainable in the long term” (Stirling et. al, 2016). I consider the Four Pillars the soil of each human being, and if each half of the relationship doesn’t EQUALLY focus on their health, emotional intelligence, hunger to gain new knowledge and their purpose (Four Pillars), sustainable and LONG TERM growth will always be in question.
This week’s video specifically focused on health and many of the couples who are getting wider as the relationship progresses is because of a lack of intention and know how. People cannot focus on something they are unaware of. There are many partners who really don’t know any better because health has never been their focus. In some(or most) cases complacency takes control, which leads to thoughts like this, “I got her now. My position is secure so I can relax.” This type of attitude is harmful to everyone involved. Where do you fit into this conversation within your relationship? Is it time for both of you to have a Four Pillar meeting to ensure that you are both making the relationship’s growth the highest priority? Do you feel that as long as you play your position, all is well? Awareness is the first step when making any changes. By being completely honest with yourself, the future of your relationship could be Re-Created. You and your partner deserve it.
Health Pillar Action Step: When was the last time you monitored your food intake for a week? Are you active on a daily basis and if so, do you track your progress? Whether you are in the best shape of your life or not, take the next seven days to write down every type of food you ingest and your daily activity processes. Afterwards, look at the trends, time frames and combine them with your current physical reality. Are your current actions aligned with your LONG TERM health and relationship goals? Are there one, two or three small tweaks you can make, or is it time to completely scrap your old flow and start anew?
Kinja’s Current Reality: After practicing Re-Creationism for over eleven years, the tracking of my food and working out has been a game changer. Just recently, I noticed a plateau, took a look at some pictures, noticed some details from 2019 that I wanted in 2021 and went back to my food tracker for that time and instantly saw what I was doing differently. I made some small tweaks in 2022 and are seeing the results that I was looking for come to fruition. To dive deeper into understanding the Four Pillar system, explore the 365 page manual at any time. Regardless, next week I will see you again in another episode of the Decade Series.
Graham Stirling, Helen Hayden, Tony Pattison, & Marcelle Stirling. (2016). Soil Health, Soil Biology, Soilborne Diseases and Sustainable Agriculture : A Guide. CSIRO PUBLISHING.