My New Year’s Resolution Photo by: unsplash.
It’s been a while since I posted anything on here now— I think this year has taken it out of all of us & I’m no different. I needed a bit of time to recharge my batteries, rest & recover—but it’s great to be back!
My New Year’s resolution is to post regularly on this blog— so here goes!
New Year, New You?
I am not actually a big fan of new year’s resolutions and prefer to make a list of my intentions/ aims in different areas of my life, for the new year, For me, one of my ongoing intentions & priorities, that features every year, is to be there for my partner and children: to be a support for them, emotionally and practically.
Let’s unpack this a bit. What do do I really mean by ‘be there’? With our busy modern lives most of us can’t be there physically all of the time.
But in a long term relationship, feeling that our partner is ‘there for us’ is arguably what most of us want more than anything else.
Philosophers, poets & sages have pondered through the ages the true meaning of the word ‘love’. The definition that resonates and feels most useful to me is that, love is what you do- it isnot what you say it’s not what you feel, it is what you do.
What you do is concrete and measurable- it can be hard work & requires time & attention. In modern life, so many things are competing for our time & attention—our work, emails, TV, music & film streaming, social media, etc,etc.
Being there requires us to turn away from those things and consciously give our time and attention to the people we care about— whoever that person or those people may be. Research shows that having even one person that you feel close to and can be yourself with has a huge positive impact on your emotional and mental health.
The main underlying cause of most marriage breakdown
As I’ve written before, particularly in my book, in ‘being there’ & showing up, research shows that it is the little things that matter most.
Particularly taking the time to ‘turn towards’ your partner (or your child or friend), to really listen to them talk about whatever is on their mind —good or bad, even just for 10-15 minutes—or to connect with them, even just for a couple of minutes, when they are looking for your attention.
Failing to do this regularly, has been found to be the main underlying cause of most marriage breakdown: it’s as essential as that!
Why is this so important?
Other crucial elements of long-term relationship success include trust and a sense of justice. Trust, in particular, is underpinned by this regular showing up to listen to whatever is on your partner’s mind.
It seems to me but this is so important because more than any other action it gives the other person the unconscious message (and lived experience) that ‘I am here for you’. Research shows that this, more than anything else, underpins our feeling of being loved, supported and cared for by our loved one.
I remember reading an article, just after the 9/11 attacks in America, about the phone calls and text messages left for loved ones by people who knew, that in all likelihood, they had little time left in this world. The conclusion of the article was that what really matters to people, & what we leave behind —is love.
But how many of us are conscience of that in the daily choices we make, as we live our often hectic modern lives? It didn’t surprise me that there is evidence that, although many people’s relationships deteriorated over lockdown, perhaps more surprisingly, there is evidence that also many peoples improved. My (educated) guess is that those people had more time for each other and used it well…
My wish for you, he reader, going into 2021 & for all of us after this difficult year, is that we learn to live our lives with with more consciousness of the importance of giving those that we love the, all important, lived experience of our ‘being there’ for them — particularly when they need it most.
In the words of the song— I wish you love!
Happy New Year!
What is the one thing you could do to give & bring more love into your life in 2021?
Comments are welcome. Please let me know below your thoughts on this article.