Monday, April 13, 2009

Are You Landscaping with Love

Today Lori started by sharing a quote: She did change one of the words to make it more appropriate content for the call, the quote is..

Mud in a box, no matter how pretty the paper, or how big the bow…will never be more than mud.

And that quote was by Anthony Craig Darnell…Her Brother

Then she went on to tell us about her Easter ......

Yesterday my Brother and I spent the afternoon with Granny, we planted her a flower bed, now let me say this in our minds it was a flower bed, her birdbath, and 5 roses surrounded by some stones, when we got there we told her “Granny we’re going to build you a flower bed for Easter”…Two hours into the project Granny declared that a miracle had happened in her life, that she woke up this morning with the same old yard but she was going to bed with a rose garden. When love is the landscaper a flower bed, can become a rose garden, the only real miracle that happened yesterday is that Granny was there to see her Rose Garden.

When we finished our project we sat on the porch with Granny to enjoy a glass of tea and admire our handiwork, a friend of my Brothers stopped by and the topic turned to relationships, based on the fact that love turned a flower bed into a rose garden.

My Brother made a very valuable assessment when he said I wish I knew what happened to the days when people brought more to a relationship than their opinion. Anymore it seems like people have nothing more to offer, nothing to give of themselves just their opinion. He said sometimes I want to say when did your opinion become all you feel you have to offer of yourself? Followed by the quote.

Mud in a box, no matter how pretty the paper, or how big the bow…will never be more than mud.

Then he said take my sister for example, by comparison you could say she’s a brown bag of confetti never concerned about the presentation, always concerned about the content, and she never fails to make you feel good about something.

We all had a good laugh, but I really put some thought into this, when comparing the two one is no more valuable than the other, mud and confetti would have to be very similar in actual value, but the effect regardless of the presentation is completely different a box of mud might evoke a “what the??” Response and I can’t imagine that the response would be favorable; where as the brown bag of confetti…would put a smile on anyone’s face. That would kind of be like a party in a bag.

I think it’s important that we ask ourselves are we a box of mud in our relationships or a brown bag of confetti?

Without a doubt communication is the key to effective and lasting change in our relationships. I believe that my Brother is right, not only have we become people, who bring nothing more than our opinions to our relationships, but we are also allowing ourselves to be surrounded by people who bring nothing more than their opinion into our relationship, I believe this happened under the radar because I hadn’t even considered it until now.

Quality conversation which is the basis for good quality relationships is undeniably the biggest challenge we face, too often we are poised with our opinion rather than poised to bring love, compassion and understanding into the relationship…or confetti.

One thing we know for sure is there is only one way to change our relationship with other people, and that is to change ourselves. Changing ourselves is the only thing we can ever do. When I look back on the most explosive disagreements I ever had with my husband or my children, I can see now that they were a direct result of me coming forward with my opinion, I can see how I met with resistance, see I think a lot of times when someone offers their opinion in our minds were thinking that we didn’t ask for it. Which reminds us of that saying if I wanted your opinion I would have asked for it, there is probably a select group of people in our lives that we would actually say this too…most we would not.

So why if we feel that way would we expect anyone to accept our opinions when we throw them out there? We should expect the same result, should we not?

What can we expect to see if we change ourselves, if we replace our opinions with confetti which represents Love, compassion, and understanding, would we meet with less rejection? I believe so.

Change always starts with us; this is true in every aspect of our lives and every aspect of our relationships, not just the areas of our choosing…we change in order to create change.

Making a change in regard to how we approach our relationships is the only way to create the response in others that we desire. We should learn to love our way into conversation rather than opinion our way in.

When given the choice of bringing our opinions to a relationship, a box of mud, or bringing confetti I think we would evoke a more positive response with confetti. It is a choice we make.The bottom line is we all have value and substance to bring to our relationships I think the key to change in our relationships lies in the presentation. Which is what we choose it to be, a beautifully wrapped package of mud, or the brown bag special? Change begins with us, and ends with the manifestation of change in others.

We create quality relationships through our actions first, the pace at which our relationships grow is based on our approach as well, and how often we can remember that we have more, so much more than our opinions to offer.