We’ve been told that “life is hard.” We’ve been told that marriage is “hard work.” We’ve been told that “nothing ever comes easy in this world.” Truth? Or self-fulfilling prophecy?
It’s probably more accurate to say that an easy life can be elusive, but that’s quite a bit different than saying it is strenuous or difficult to achieve.
Finding a parking space is easy – but only when they are in abundance. When an empty spot is elusive, it becomes harder.
But there are 4 ways to make your life easier and more fulfilling. And the greatest minds have concluded that they center around the quality of our life on an emotional, physical, mental and spiritual level. The surprise? Each is directly proportional to the quality of our relationships.
Good Relationships Keep Us Happier and Healthier
Now before you say: “great partners, like parking spaces, can be hard to find,” don’t think of relationships in the strict sense of a lifetime companion.
What is your relationship with your neighbor? Your community? Those in need? What is your relationship to exercise? Alcohol? Pets? The interior life?
Family, loved ones, and dear friends are absolutely part of the relationships in your life, too, of course.
But the common thread is that true fulfillment in relationships is about genuine connection. This is one of the most satisfying joys of becoming a Custodian of the Caring Movement. Authentic community ties are some of the most enduring.
Tell Us Something We Don’t Already Know
Okay, so you may not be astounded to learn the importance of relationships. But if we already know this, why do so many of us struggle in this area?
Are we treating the most important relationships in our lives properly? Are we giving them the time, attention, and priority they deserve?
Do you know a lifelong friend who would think nothing of putting in a 70-hour workweek, yet they can’t “find time” to check in with you?
Or have you caught yourself (when stressed out) showing less patience and grace toward a life-partner than you’d ever show to a complete stranger?
Move from Deadlines to Lifelines
So many things in life are urgency-driven, but have you noticed that relationships almost never are? In fact, they’re almost always the first part of our lives that we neglect until we can “find the time.”
Everyone wants deep, meaningful relationships. But most think it’s a daunting or time-consuming goal.
Building more fulfilling relationships every day is easier when you realize one fundamental truth:
The very thing that makes you feel happy or fulfilled isn’t the relationship itself, but the interactions within that relationship.
The Custodian Connection
Custodians of the Caring Movement understand that the best path to enjoying fulfilling relationships is through meaningful interactions and consistently connecting. Just the act of expressing care to self and others – by putting caring into action – is all that is required.
It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, either. Moving the Caring Movement forward and reaping its rewards can be as simple as a friendly smile. A short note of appreciation. A wave. Saying “thank you.” A word of encouragement. Patience in line for coffee.
None of which is difficult. Especially if you choose to see, feel, and consciously become aware of where there is a need – and then step up.
Small and Simple = Happy and Fulfilled
Being an active part of the Caring Movement isn’t about money or overwhelming commitment. It’s about consistently delivering small and simple experiences that leave those in your orbit feeling genuinely uplifted.
One of the best ways to begin is choosing to give voice to the positive thoughts you have in your head. That’s right. Instead of allowing them to evaporate, say them out loud! Don’t cheat yourself out of a valuable opportunity to move caring forward and enrich your relationships at the same time.
The world needs to hear that you care – now more than ever. There is no doubt that you’ll make the recipient of your caring thoughts feel better. And in turn, their emotional response will give you an incredibly fulfilling sense of happiness and satisfaction as well. When you raise someone’s spirts, you uplift your own at the same time. Wonderful, isn’t it?
You Care When You’re Aware
The last step in a more fulfilling life is a simple shift in awareness. The key is becoming more intentional. Getting into the habit of being aware of a positive thought and giving voice to it – as long as it is genuine, and you really mean it.
Most Custodians of the Caring Movement will tell you that it quickly becomes second nature to recognize or compliment someone they know. And yes, if you’re shy and can’t voice it, you can certainly text it or e-mail it. Action is what matters!
Caring isn’t just a holiday-time-of-year thing. It’s a day-to-day part of who you are. Who WE are.
Simple, caring interactions are at the heart of Caring Movement and the foundation for meaningful relationships. And those very same relationships are the roadmap to an easier and more fulfilling life. For everyone.
By Mark Smith, contributing author
We are all working our way through a changed world as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We may no longer be quarantined or under stay-at-home orders, but everyone is stretched to adapt like never before. All of us are in this together. Now more than ever, caring is what we need most. Caring for our self. Caring for others around us in our communities. Life now demands caring, resilience and compassion like never before. This is a great opportunity to create the world we want for our future generations. We invite you to join us in creating a caring movement!