Relating 24 May 2020
From our childhood till the time we are roughly 30 years old things in life may go smooth. We are busy with life, dating, our first job(s) and getting married. Usually it already begins earlier. We become more aware of the world of our emotions and the troubles those may cause with relating to others.
We may become more aware of some of our shortcomings and recurring, almost similar troubles. To name some: anger, jealousy, disappointments, criticism, quarrels and competition. Not to forget a low self image, expressing itself in fear, shame and hopelessness.
"I am 28 years old. Life is not easy. I have to fight for my place in the team in my parish. All others seem to know everything. There is little place for questions and doubts. Everyone likes to see quick results. Everyone likes to leave the meetings at 10 p.m. By times I end up really confused with all the expectations which I hardly can meet. Although I have various useful talents, I can seldom get them into practice in our team. I would love to have some coaching."
"I am 58 years old. For many years I help with the gardening in the graveyard. Earlier everything went smooth and relaxed. Since two team members have passed away and we all get older, the stress increases. We can no more get the work done properly. We get many complaints. We end up quarreling. And the sad thing is that no-one knows how to say sorry. The quarrels are over silly things, but it hurts us. I better quit my church."
"I am 38 years old. I am really good in working with children. I am a teacher. I am part of the Sunday children's team. My team members are often very stubborn, saying things as: 'I am doing this for already 10 years, I already know how to deal with it. If you do not like our methods you better leave.' Every Sunday when I leave home I feel exhausted and humiliated. How can we build our team in peace?' "
"I am 45 years old. I would like to use my talents in coaching and training people. I have quite some experience in this field as a manager of a team of 100 nurses. My church however says that they are already too busy with religious teaching. They have no time to help people with conflicts and team building. I see various people struggling with relationships at home, in their work and as well in our parish. I am very disappointed that I can't use my talents in my church. It makes me feeling unhappy and unwanted. I better go to a different parish."
The art of Relating
The art of relating requires communication skills. Either natural or trained. When I read the sermon on the mount (Matt 5-7) I feel a sense of urgency, which I miss in churches. Many of us struggle hard with forgiveness, feeling loved and accepted. We have never been trained how to deal with conflicts, even if those conflicts would forbid us or others to participate in worship. Personally I, at age 64, would welcome training and support systems to act out love to those I relate to and to those in need. Where can I/we find instruction and coaching in the area of relationships?
I expect that 90% of us struggles with at least some other persons. Usually we are most hurt by people nearby. Not to forget, we are hurt by our own words, thoughts and deeds.
We may be in denial or to proud to deal with our issues. Also unbelief that (and how) bad things can change may affect us.