Saturday, March 14, 2015

Topic of the Week: DEVOTION

In my article, The Garden of Marriage I briefly mentioned devotion.  I spoke about how we need devotion in our relationships in order to keep them thriving. Is it possible to lose sight of this effort? Absolutely. This week I came across article after article all on different topics but nonetheless having the same underlying theme: Devotion.

Today's world of smart phones and dumb people have led us on a path to destruction;

We're all devoted to different things believe it or not. Some of us are devoted to attaining wealth, some attaining health, some are devoted to their talents, some are devoted to their goals, their religion, their partners.... While others commit and devote to nothing. We're all cut from different cloths, and what drives us, motivates us, and inspires us to become devoted is another matter, possibly our culture and upbringing.

Check out this video on Spiritual Devotion for example:

I find myself pulled in different directions sometimes. I want to be a good mother, a good wife, a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend, a good everything. It's impossible to be devoted to all these different roles without giving up so much of yourself as an individual that you no longer seem to exist. In order to be happy, you kinda have to free yourself from all these mental/emotional obligations and prioritize. Me first. Him second. The kids third. Everyone else: fourth. People will be shocked and say whoa, she's got her priorities all screwed up. No I don't: "The plane is about to crash, secure your mask first, then help others. Without you, there can be no one to help them." My husband comes second because it was he and I first who created this family, and in order to keep this family intact, healthy, and prospering, we need to be okay if we are to give our very best to our children.

In the beginning of every relationship it's so wonderful, it's a beautiful 24/7 high, it's like you're on drugs and you can't stop the addiction to each other. Every moment of the day is spent in thoughts of the other person, until the relationship is well past the honeymoon phase.

Why do we stop making the effort? 
For a number of reasons... life can be hard, kids, work-life balance, being sick, burn outs, random emotional funks, fighting, loss of motivation,  no down time/alone time, loss of fun, loss of regular laughter, financial troubles, too many outside influences, the home environment not being conducive for intimacy, schedules/time, growing in different directions. The reasons are endless, however if we show more devotion, you overcome adversity and grow stronger.

How can we show MORE devotion in our relationships? 

  • You're considerate of each other.
    • Mary had a long night and she's exhausted. John lets her sleep in, because even though he's also tired he sees that she's burnt out and she's done the same for him in the past. 
  • You're empathetic towards one another.
    • Mary's been stressed with the kids, and John's been stressed with work. Mary tries to do everything around the house without asking John for help. John realizes everything is taken cared of around the house and helps with things the children need that are overwhelming Mary. 
  • You try to meet your partner half-way consistently
    • Mary needs more quality time spent with John, he's been so busy working every weekend he just doesn't have the energy physically or mentally to spend with her. She voices her concerns, and John realizes he's been all work and no play. He decides to spend every Saturday morning with her doing something together for a few hours before he leaves to finish his project. 
  • You don't trivialize each other's feelings.  
  • You think of ways to surprise each other with random acts of kindness/love.  
  • You show affection. Sex might be considered overrated but hugs, kisses, touch, intimacy, and cuddling is not. Science proves the positive effects of physical love on depression, anxiety, sadness, etc. Making time for sex is a great stress reliever, and brings you closer to one another. It's the glue that seals us as a couple. 
  • You both focus on being Givers. See: Givers, Takers, Matchers.
  • You  both think before you speak or make a genuine effort to be nice to each other. 
    • John really isn't in the mood for conversation this early in the morning but he makes a point of delivering that message in a nice way that makes Mary feel understanding rather than rejected, dismissed, or attacked. 
Love: Blind Devotion

Devotion to Freedom:
A 24-year-old college dropout explains how he went from $10,000 in savings to $4 million in real estate

I Tied My Tubes at 28

Whatever it is you choose to show devotion to in life will prosper, blossom, or grow. Relationships are the #1 thing people stop putting as much effort after acquiring romantic love. That's how people drift apart, become careless, fall out of love, lose the spark, and stop being friends. One thing is for sure, both people need to show devotion.

"The Grass is Greener Where YOU Water It!"