Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois     

And I’m Lois.

Faith   

Our podcast explores the things you face in life that inspire and daunt you.

Lois     

Well greetings greetings, FaithD!

Faith

Greetings to you Lois,

Lois     

Happy 2020!

Faith

I can’t believe it. Happy New Year to everyone, to all our listeners and to you, Lois.

Lois     

To you as well. Faith, it’s a whole new year, a whole new decade and a bit of a change up as we look at More to Life with Faith and Lois., We are so glad you’re back with us this week and as we mentioned last week, ending our year of transitions with the impact of your vision. We’re going to be holding a theme for every month and break off into four different areas each week so you can know that whatever the theme is that we’re launching, you’re going to hear it in four different versions, in relationships, in your body, spirituality, and your craft.

Faith

And they’re all a part of who you are.

Lois     

The full person. We love the whole person idea.

Faith   

We certainly do and there’s so much that happens in our lives, then we can forget how it affects the whole of us.

Lois     

So we’re going to dive into that for 2020 and we’d love it if you check out our website for all the latest news. And if you want to sign up for our weekly newsletter, you’ll get our podcast in your email. So go to www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com. And wherever you listen to our podcast, whatever platform you’re on right now, we would love it if you would react to it. Leave us a comment, let us know where you listen. It’d be very cool. So we launch January with a theme of your outlook for this year with Episode 106: What’s your Outlook on Relationships?

Faith    

Wow, I’m excited about this. This, there’s so many good things that are gonna come out of this discussion. You know, for me in 2020 and for beyond 2020 my outlook on relationships is going to be intentionality. I realized that there’s a lot of things that slipped by me this year in this past year of 2019 that I missed the chance, the opportunity to be with people I wanted to be with. And that even includes family. I didn’t get out to see my daughter the way I usually do in Columbus and as often as I would like to, and I was really perturbed with myself. Like, this did not happen. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I wasn’t intentional to say I’ve got to make this happen. So the one of the things I did is I got tickets for April and we’re going in April. I’m setting the pace already to do that and I’m setting times to be intentional to have lunches with friends. I’m determined to make time and to say this is set apart for what’s important.

Lois     

And that’s so cool that you’re doing that just specifically as it relates to relationships.

Faith

Exactly, exactly. Because it’s one of the most important things you have all the other things kind of fade away, but these relationships that are valuable and important, they need to be cherished and nurtured. And put in the daytimer.

Lois     

Love that. You know, I always have this phrase that I tag on to much of what I write, which is people are my passion and there is no doubt with all the kinds of work I’ve done, which I’ve flitted all over different kinds of things in my life that I have really put people at the core and their stories and how they influence others. But I also notice that when I interact with people, those who are, I’m very close to and those even at arms length, there is this need that I used to have to watch your life and say, wow, this could be so much better and I would offer you really nice things. None of them were bad, but they were none of my business. And I finally have gotten to this place in the last few years where I’ve said, you know, you are who you are and I’m going to love you just as you are. Do I think there are ways that things might be beautiful, more? Doesn’t matter. And I think I had gotten to a place where I said, it doesn’t matter that it’s not that beautiful, but I’ll think of you this way. But then my thoughts went that way where I was hoping for this change. So now I’m saying you are who you are as a whole person. Exactly as you are. And you know, I’m finding that people, surprisingly Faith are so happy that I don’t want to interfere. That I don’t want to share these nuggets of how you could change and I think that, you know, should you come to me and ask me, then that’s a whole different ball of wax and I know that. But just as a general rule of me approaching you and seeing something that I could, you know, fix up just a little bit. By pulling away from that, I’ve realized how special someone is as an individual, no matter what they’re doing. And it’s given me freedom to embrace, to love, to participate, to have boundaries, all of those things based on who you are and who you want to be, because that’s who you want to be.

Faith     

Oh, that’s excellent.

Lois     

How freeing is that?

Faith

Very freeing.

Lois     

I didn’t realize what a manipulating thing it could be to always want to help out. So just so you know, the next time you see me, if you’re looking for that, you’re going to have to ask for it because it’s not going to come naturally. So when we say relationship, we’re referring to the association, the connection, the interaction, the bond between two or more people. And this website is really cool. It’s called www.assertbh.org.uk. And thank you to them because they gave a lot of ideas for how to look at relationships and where you stand with relationships.

Faith

And you know, we are all starting, you know, this new year and there’s a variety of emotions that come up with this whole thing because it’s like what is it going to look like? What do I need to do and can I succeed? Am going to be healthy. So there’s all these different things we look at, but when we look at the relationships, it’s a great time at the very beginning to say what relationships are strained? What relationships are working? What relationships need to be nurtured? What relationships need to be maybe stepped back away from? So it’s doing a scan as we’ve talk about it so often on our podcast about our relationships. What are the ones that we need to just really be a participant in and others that maybe we need to give a little space.

Lois     

And it’s a good way to look at it as we start 2020 and so we thought we would start with people first before we got into some of the other areas that we want to focus on. So there are a number of kinds of relationships that we all have and our, and our interactions are different when we look at these different relationships. So the first one we want to deal with is one that we all have to some level. And that is our relationships in our family.

Faith

Oh dear.

Lois     

Well, you can’t talk about relationships without talking about family.

Faith 

They’re wonderful. They’re absolutely what, there’s so many wonderful things about family and there’s also a difficult, there’s a tension with family and that’s okay because it gives all of us the opportunity to do things in a better way. If we feel tension, a lot of times we want to put up the wall, we want to become defensive. Well you can choose to do that differently and that can enhance how you enter into a family relationship or as we just said, step back and away. But for instance, I have not seen my sister in a while and I have already made plans. I am going up there probably between now and the end of February and I’m going to spend a long weekend with her because she’s not well and I want to see her. And so I’m being, there’s that word again, intentional about saying this is really important and I need to spend time. And so it’s a way to nurture someone that you love and care about instead of just saying, Oh, I can text her, I can email – being more involved.

Lois     

And you know, we do have strains in relationships and that can happen in the family, but we have to also acknowledge that how we relate with those closest to us with those who are either by biology or marriage or step families with whom we’re related. How we relate in those structures impacts how we relate with everybody else in our lives. And sometimes we think we can compartmentalize. But if we’re talking about being a whole person, being a whole person means being a whole person, even in your family. So think about those interactions because they do spill over or bleed out or do something. So they’re not, you can’t contain all of that because those emotions come out. So one of the questions we’d love for you to kind of ponder is how does your relationship to your family impact your perspective on relationships?

Faith    

That’s a great question. Yeah, that’s a really good question. And it’s one to ponder because you gave a really good insight a moment ago about the fact that it carries over into the other areas of our life. And that’s why you see a lot of family dynamics played out at work. Because you haven’t worked out the family dynamic at your home or with your extended family. And if you don’t work out there, you play it out elsewhere.

Lois     

And that’s why it’s so important that if there is damage or if there is brokenness, which there is by the way, and some families have relationships that do not mend over time, then find a way to achieve peace with that so that you can be in other relationships and not have that go with you. You know that that line about it’s never greener. Well the pastor’s not greener over there. But I mean the thing is if you’re carrying this baggage that is so heavy and bitter into a new relationship, it will poison the next relationship. So think about how you’ve dealt with that. So even if there’s a place where you have to say no, this is no more than at least come to peace with it so you don’t talk about it and bring that toxicity to the next place you go.

Faith

So true. Another area is friends. And boy we have our best friends and we have our kind of external friends and our go to movie friends and our dinner friends. And again, it’s evaluating what are these relationships to me, how do they apply to my life, how do I apply to their life and how does, how is there a give take in this and where is the nurture coming from and where is the fun and the joy coming from and where is the intimacy coming from in these relationships? So again, it’s just a wonderful time to do a reflection on your friendships and saying what really matters here and where do I want to invest my time?

Lois     

And that’s it. Investing your time because friends are people that we choose to be with that we have either similarities with or we run into somebody and we realize we really like hanging out with them. But the, the interesting part about friendships is there’s a reciprocity. There is a, you know, you are friends with somebody because you care about each other and then I care about you and you care about me and I feel it. So whenever you get to a place in a friendship where you feel that there isn’t that give and take, then you start wondering whether there’s a real friendship. So examine who you’re hanging out with, why you’re with them, what’s important, and make sure you create space and time. And as Faith is mentioning, so beautifully, intentionality as you go about that. And a great question to think about when you think about friendships is how do your friendships shape your view of relationships? You know, cause I mean, like you just said, I have friends that I consider so dear and I know that anytime I really call them, you know they will, they will spend the time I need to go through something or to hear some great news and share with that joy. So how do they shape my view of relationships? Well, I feel really good. So the next interaction I have is really positive. So consider that kind of shaping as you hang out with people that you care about. =

Faith 

Hmm. That’s so good Lois.

Lois     

So love your friends. It’s super important. So, and we also want to share with you some really great news from our sponsor. And these people are also our friends. By the way, A Stepping Stone.

Faith 

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Lois     

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Faith

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Lois     

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Faith

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Lois     

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Faith

Or go online and check out their services at www.steppingstonenow.com.

Lois     

So back on Episode 106 what’s your outlook on Relationships another kind of relationship we all have is acquaintances and these are important in our life too, but they are different than friends because we don’t generally see them as frequently or share as deeply.

Faith 

But they’re so important because there is human being and so are you. And we can be dismissive about how we treat people on a given day. And a really good example of this total acquaintance never met this person before. I went into the bank, I was on a tight, tight schedule to hurry up and get this deposit done because I had an appointment to get to and I get up to the teller and it’s his first day, Oh my. And he made a mistake and he made another mistake and he made another mistake and I decided and he started to, he says, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. And he was panicking. I went, it’s okay. And I made a decision right then and there within myself. I went, I don’t care how long this takes, I’m going to respect him. I’m going to give him all the time he needs. If I’m late, I’m late. He’s more important. And I stood there and I just said, you know what? First days are hard. Take your time. Just breathe. It’s okay. And he started to sweat. He started, he got it got worse, and I said, no, just it’s okay. I’m, I mean it, it’s all right. Take as long as you need. Let’s figure this out. And well after 10 minutes he got it done. And I said, thank you. I said, I really appreciate what you did. I took a good deep breath and I appreciate what you did. I walked away knowing that I had encouraged somebody that I could have really led into and said, I want somebody different and caused the ruckus. That’s not usually what I do, but, but I could have been edgy and I decided not to be. I decided that he was more important than my time.

Lois     

Well, one of the questions in this category is what role do acquaintances play in your life? And right there you elevated this person as a whole person and looked at him as someone who was having a tough day and you chose not to rush out of there. Yes. What a gift.

Faith

And that’s when we can do that. We have opportunities every single day to be kind to be generous and to change the atmosphere in someone’s life just by how we treat them.

Lois     

We have lived, my husband and I separately and together many places around the world. And for me, I generally haven’t stayed more than X amount of years in places just because, well this will be better or I’ve got a job here or something transitions. We have now been in our home for almost eight years and we realized how much we like it here. And the reason we like where we live more than anything else is our neighbors. So these are people we don’t see on a regular basis cause you know, now everybody has their, at least for us, we have a garage in the alley. So we come in through there so we don’t have that front door experience. But once a year on Halloween, we all sit outside and we have the best evening and promise we’re going to do it again – and we don’t. But we enjoy that Halloween every single time. Well, just recently our friends were doing some remodeling work and out of the blue they said, you know, we’re going to need a place to stay just for a couple of nights. They have two boys. And we offered our home. Now we don’t know these people very well other than great Halloweens together. And they spent the night and the boys were a little nervous because this is not grandma and grandpa’s house. It’s not aunt and uncle, it’s neighbors. But we are building a bond with people that we never anticipated who may become friends. As a result, they may jump a category and they may not. But what matters is what you just did. When you find someone, you’ve treat them as a whole person, wherever they are in that space, you start having relationships that matter. And so for me, the role acquaintances play is it’s actually helping ground me for where I live, which I never thought I would, you know, apply so much cred to somebody I don’t spend that much time with. But I realize how valuable they are.

Faith

So acquaintances are an integral part of our daily life and it’s so important just to be very intentional about treating them well.

Lois     

So think about that the next time you go to the bank or go to the grocery store or say hi to your neighbor.

Faith

And then of course there’s romantic relationships. Yes. And that means whether you’re in a committed relationship currently or whether you are in the process of courting or discovering or wanting to be in a relationship. Again, it’s evaluating what it is that you’re needing and what it is that you want to offer and to step into those relationships with an open mind and not the expectation that that person is there to meet all your needs, but rather you’re in a relationship. That it’s about you being who you really are connecting to the person that they really are, and letting something evolve out of that connection.

Lois     

You know, it’s so beautiful when you think of relationships and how they’re built on love and trust and respect and support, but not on smothering. And so it to your point, Faith that you know, it doesn’t feel every single need, but it does feel many needs and there’s a much larger commitment you usually have to someone with whom you are in a romantic relationship. Even if you haven’t, you know, we met some people this weekend where they literally spend six months apart because of the job commitments they have. They’ve been married for 32 years. So obviously this arrangement is working for them. The idea being that you are committed in a romantic way based on these areas of life. So when you think about how your romantic relationship affects other relationships in your life, it is so obvious when you’re happy with someone and you hang out with a friend. Because then that also ekes out, right? You’re, you’re sharing, Oh well we had a chance to explore this together or we’re reading this or we went this place instead of they’re doing this, they’re doing this. And you hear the difference. And when’s the last time you were with friends who didn’t have a good romantic relationship and you wanted to make sure that you could get away from them as fast as possible? It’s hard to listen to.

Faith

Oh, it’s heavy. It’s a heavy, heavy atmosphere when you hear a lot of negativity and that’s what needs to shift and negativity usually comes out of our own expectations and that’s not relational. It’s good to have boundaries. It’s good to have limits, but to say you need to be or you need to do for me to be happy and content puts you into a very enmeshed relationship and that doesn’t work. When you can talk and be open and share, Hey, this would work better for me. What do you think? That’s relationship. And there’s so many ways that we can enhance the relationships that we’re in right now. But we have to change sometimes our language and it falls back on us and we want it oftentimes to fall on the other person and like you change, not me. It means both people, especially in a romantic relationship, both of you step into it to make the relationship better.

Lois     

You know, when we think of family and friends and acquaintances and romantic relationships, we show other people who we are by the people that are around us too. And so how we speak of them and how we relate to all of these people, no matter where they are or whether they’re in a bank or whether they’re in our bed, those things matter. And that’s the whole person that we are. How we relate to these individuals is also what we end up sharing with those around us. And so this year on More to Life with Faith and Lois, as we look at the outlook and we’ve just dealt with relationships, we hope that you’ll take a piece of this as you’re looking to the future and what this year holds your outlook on who you hang out with and how you share that concern, that love, that respect matters a great deal.

Faith

It does. And it can be a wonderful year of transformation.

Lois     

Yes. And it could be that you may need to make a break. It could be that you need to be more intentional that you need to spice things up. I mean, there may be lots of different ways that you need to look at your relationships, but it’s kind of cool if that’s your outlook for 2020.

Faith

I love it. Every relationship in your life gives you an opportunity to learn more about yourself.

Lois     

Who might you approach this week to share how meaningful their relationship is with you? Please share this podcast with someone with whom you have a relationship and join us next week as we wonder what’s your outlook on your body.

Faith

Sign up for our weekly newsletter on our website and subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen.

Lois     

No matter what you face in relationships, your body, spirituality, or your craft.

Faith

We are here to assure you there is always more to life.

Lois     

We’ll be back next week.