The month of love is upon us, easily the month with the most discourse on matters of the heart, and I also consider love to be a wellness conversation.
I don’t think I want to live in a world averse to love, and I cannot imagine what that world will look like and feel like. Although most of the conversations about love in this season are usually tilted towards romantic love and while that is absolutely fine, there are other forms/sources of love.
If you are reading this column for the first time, you might not be familiar with The Seven dimensions to Wellness (I recommend you look up past articles online). But, let me give you a quick breakdown. The seven dimensions to wellness are Physical, Relational, Intellectual, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual and Financial. We at The Excited Living Company believe that an individual who gives attention to each of these aspects will live a more fulfilling life.
The discussion on love falls into the relational wellness dimension. This dimension encourages the building and nurturing of meaningful relationships. In my view, love is a derivative of quality relationships and this refers to our relationship with self and others. I believe also that we need to be mindful that relationships need attention to thrive and we are responsible for how much nourishment we get from all our different relationships.
Since love can be the outcome of meaningful relationships then let’s delve into what we need to do in relationships in order to create it. Like I mentioned earlier, love in this article isn’t limited to romantic love. The dictionary definition of love is “An intense feeling of deep affection.”
Upon discovery of the definition of love the first person that comes to my mind is my mother, I definitely have an intense feeling of deep affection for her.
After years of butting heads and getting into a lot of arguments with her, I had to take a few steps back to appraise the quality of our relationship because I had noticed a few of my friends who were really close to their mothers and I began to yearn for the same love they shared with their mums. The desire to get closer to my mum spurred me to improve my relationship management skills. The experience affirmed to me that even relationships with close family members will require effort if we want to experience an intense feeling of deep satisfaction from them.
relationship that it is today and they are conflict management and conflict resolution skills. The ability to prevent a conflict still remains the more important skill—here you are self-aware enough to stop a potential downward spiral. Before now when I got into an argument with my mum, I would be more interested in getting my opinions across and when I encountered any resistance I pulled in from any available resource to ensure that my voice was heard and sometimes that included raising my voice.
Now, with my new knowledge in conflict management, I place the value of the relationship (recognizing that I don’t want it to end) over my opinions in the moment, not when emotions are running high. Let’s face it, our mothers often find it confrontational when you express a contrary opinion to theirs so many times it’s better to allow things cool off and maybe revisit the conversation at a later time.
Often times, even the most skilled in conflict management, can encounter challenges because in every potential conflict you are only in control of one side of the situation and that’s why the second skill is important. Conflict resolution is what is described in customer service as service recovery. It is basically damage control.
In the world of customer service, service recovery if approached skillfully will not only revert a customer’s initial dissatisfaction but also convert them to a raving fan of the organization. I believe the same principle can be applied in relationships, conflicts don’t have to lead to a total collapse in a relationship that can be a source of love in our lives, we can recover and rebuild even after experiencing conflict.
Love is a beautiful thing and meaningful relationships are a great source of deep affection. There are several stories about the origin of Valentine’s day, but I guess the core message is the expression of affection and many people do it through the exchange of gifts and spending time with the special people in their lives. If you don’t have a romantic interest for valentines,’ take a look at the long list of people who have expressed deep affection for you and it’s okay to make one of them your valentine. I am currently going through my long list as well, maybe in the next issue, I will share what I did on valentine’s day.
Happy valentine’s day.
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