Wednesday, May 8, 2013

All in all its just another brick in the wall

Relationships are like brick houses. I know, that's a really weird statement. But if you think about it we build our lives  with those around us by little events - brick by brick by brick. Each of your bricks are invisibly labeled. Some of the bricks you find in your walls are those  of trust, loyalty, honor, love, integrity, peace, joy... And the list could go on and on and on.  

Everybody has a foundation with each person they know. Some  are just single walls that are tiny and don't receive a lot of attention and other are great big structures that are built over years with close friends and a lifetime with family. As you positively interact with people these invisible brick walls start supporting your relationship - if you are adding good things than your structure gets tall and strong and can withstand the storms of life while your relationship is tucked safely away with the walls you built. But if you are responding critically and negatively than you start pulling those walls down brick by brick. 

In a good strong marriage - the way they are meant to be - those walls can be built so strong and so high that the greatest of forces cannot knock it down. They may cause damage but you are able to rebuild it. And yes it's a slow process because it is brick by brick, day by day.  There are some structures we choose not to rebuild because the damage is so great that you choose to relocate that structure. But EVERY structure (relationship) can be rebuilt if you are willing to pay the cost of repair.

In a child's life the parent is responsible for building the foundation of this structure. Each time your nurture and teach your child, he or she becomes that much stronger to withstand the storms of life. As a teenager or young adult your child may choose to chip away at those bricks but you pick up the mortar and start mending them back together bit by bit, while reminding them of the worth of that wall.

You can see why a neglected wall never becomes that sturdy structure. It hasn't had the time and energy that it takes to build it. You can't just expect because you are family or have been best friends with someone since your were 5 years old that you automatically have a strong structure with them. No, you have to build it and you have to protect it from the damage the elements of the world brings. If you don't do upkeep on your physical house, it will deteriorate. Why are relationships any different?

Everything we do is adding or taking away from the structure of our relationships.
So what I ask you to think about tonight is - what relationships do you need to add some more bricks to or repair the ones that are there? Are you spending so much time at work trying to build those structures that your children are lacking the foundation?  Are you pulling bricks down in your marriage or adding new ones each day? Are your seeing the worth of your own wall or tearing away at it with harsh self criticism?

We need to be master carpenters in our relationships and become experts in what builds up and tears each other down. 

Now go find someone around you and add a brick of joy to their lives even if its just with a simple smile or I love you.