We are excited to share this post by our most recent guest blogger. Thank you Nathanael!
I am passionate about a lot of things, one of them is relationships. There are a few reasons for this but I’d like to highlight just one of them; fulfillment. I have found that relationships are the place where I’ve found the most joy and conversely, the most pain. I think this is the case with everyone. Because of this I’ve found it is really important that we are vigilant with our hearts and vigilant to find those people with whom we can build friendships that are deep and safe. It is in such relationships that we are most likely to have happiness, which is easiest when we feel safe enough to not hold back.
Happiness, I believe, is a personal thing and a choice. It is something that we can find despite our circumstances. I’ve witnessed people in third world countries living in slums who are full of happiness. I’ve seen cancer patients who can accept their imminent death and be full of happiness. I’ve seen those who have been through incredible trauma find happiness as they heal. This has led me to realize a few things. First, happiness is not contingent on certain circumstances. Second, happiness is an individual, personal thing. Third, real happiness, fulfillment, involves a simple handful of things and one of the foundational things is choosing to surround ourselves with love.
Love is many things and it leads to many things. It is around us continually and more often than not, we can choose to see and feel it or not. We are capable of loving almost anything imaginable including things we have not even seen yet. Things like an unborn child, God, or a bulb we’ve buried in the ground that has not yet grown into a flower. This power to love is immense and you have it inside of you. Learning to let go of past hurt and pain is crucial to allow us to experience love better.
I wish I had the magic formula or special goggles that allowed me to recognize the people that are a good fit for me. The ones I could trust with my heart, the friends that would not let me down. But you see life isn’t about that; that doesn’t exist. Friendship and love are more about forgiveness than anything else. Solid relationships take time because they are built on trust and trust takes time to earn, especially when we’ve been hurt by others. Having a solid relationship comes back to OUR ability to be the kind of friend that strives to not let others down. To be the person who says sorry when needed and most importantly, be the friend that is genuine and forgives the frailties of others. It is when we’re grounded that we are able to live that way, to love that way. When we’re grounded we also become more self-aware of our own imperfections and become more able to forgive ourselves for them.
I’ve seen that fulfillment in relationships comes when we are gentle with others and gentle with ourselves. We are all so imperfect and that is okay. I forget things occasionally and other times I run out of energy before I get done what I want to in a day. On occasion my friends, who’ve I’ve asked to help me, have life get in the way too. And life getting in the way sometimes is okay too. It is the humanity we allow each other that makes successful relationships work. It is the trust we build through learning that we can rely on others. In order to get to where we can really have these types of relationships we need to be grounded. The Daring Spirit AMP, Active Meditation Practice, tools are a great method of learning about ourselves, learning to let go of the unnecessary and get grounded in the present. They can help us gain clarity about ourselves and about our relationships. I know they can help because I’ve experienced it personally. They’ve helped me be a better partner and a better friend, which has helped me build more solid relationships. They’ve helped me, in this way, find more fulfillment, happiness and love; the things that really matter.
Meet our Guest Blogger!
My name is Nathanael. I am many things; a husband, father, photographer, writer, feminist, graphic designer, health enthusiast, athlete, and Mormon. Despite being all of those things the most rewarding thing in my life, by far, is my family. I love design, art, and photography. I value the creative power to transform, inspire and build. I want to make the world a better place for not only my children, but for everyone else's too. My secret childhood wish was to be a Renaissance Man and though this century's vast amount of information makes that impossible to achieve, the idea captures my love for learning and desire for progression on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.
photo credit for this photo and the header photo: Nathanael Verrill.