During the Lenten Season, I often find myself contemplating the trajectory of my life. Choosing to help people have healthier relationships—personally and professionally—is linked with my spiritual beliefs to share unconditional love, and this experience, with others. I believe that our satisfaction or dissatisfaction with our relationships is what colors our outlooks on life—not how much money we make, our job successes, or what material possessions we acquire.
I challenge you to give up being selfish for the next 30 days, regardless of your religious affiliation. Think of it instead as a challenge to see what it’s like to give unconditional love away, with no expectations or guarantees that it will be reciprocated in return.
We often don’t stop to think before we speak or act. We end up reacting to our emotions, rather than using them as a tool. When you take a second to stop and ask yourself what emotion you’re feeling, then you give yourself a chance to make a deliberate logic-based decision, using your prefrontal cortex, rather than reacting from your mid or hind brain—areas responsible for fight or flight and reflexive responses (breathing, digestion, heartbeat, etc.).
As you’re monitoring your emotions, if you come across anger, then ask yourself what else you are feeling. Anger is a secondary emotion. There is always an underlying emotion attached to anger. And, once you identify what that emotion is—you have a choice. Most people react out of anger, thereby hurting themselves or the other person by creating or feeding in to an argument. When you’re able to say, “I feel anger, and I’m embarrassed that I forgot such and such,” you can then choose to stop feeling this way. It hinges on choosing your words with care.
We are in relationships to relate with other people. How we interact with them dictates the quality of our relationships.
Choose to only say and do things that lift one another up, and keep you connected to the other person.
Give in to being nice to the other person. Despite the battles you wage in your head with patience, with self-confidence, with self-worth, you can choose your words so they lift up instead of hurt, and show love instead of anger or hatred.
There really is something to the adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Are you up for the challenge to spend 30 days giving away unconditional love?
Only say and do things that come from a place of unconditional love. Your feelings will be that of what it feels like to experience unconditional love. It is life-changing, but more over than that it is a sobering reminder that our relationships are all we have, and how we treat our relationships reveals how true it is that our actions speak louder than our words ever do.
Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Mars Venus Coaching
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