To excel at what you desire it takes training and practice. And, relationships are no different. In fact it takes more than just training and practice to have a “Starting Forever” relationship. I meet many people on a weekly basis going through a rough time in their marriage or relationship; either with a friend, family member, or a significant other. There appears to be an on going theme that comes up time and time again. This theme is people are difficult and messy, and you will get hurt and disappointed. However, the question is what are you doing everyday to work on the relationship? Most people ask, “What do you mean what am I doing to work on the relationship? It’s not me, they did this to me.” The old saying is true it takes two to tango. It’s much more than that though. It does take two to make a relationship work, but what part are you doing to make it a healthy one?
Today I’d like to talk about discipline. I made a decision a few years ago I was going to take care of my physical health. I set a goal I was going to complete a ½ marathon. At that time I could hardly walk 1 mile let alone cross the finish line after walking/running 13.1 miles. It took discipline to get up every morning at 5am. I started walking 2 miles and then every week after that increase the mileage until I was able to complete 10 miles, and eventually on race day I completed the 13.1 miles. Wow, what an accomplishment. It was difficult at first my body was not used to the rigorous training. There were days I was sore and even hurt to where I could not even walk across the room! However, I set a goal and I wasn’t giving up. Relationships are just like running a marathon. It starts out slow and builds over time. You may be able to finish the 13.1 miles without training but after you will not be able to walk and you won’t want to do it again. In relationships it’s one step one mile at a time. You need to set a pace that is comfortable for you and your partner to get to know each other. The more you work at it everyday the stronger the relationship will be. Relationships are an everyday process and love is not instant. The faster you go without stretching and growing in your love the faster you are headed for a crash and burn. You will get hurt.
Do you give up because you are hurt? Do you tell yourself this isn’t worth it? In my marathon training there were times I wanted to stay in bed because I couldn’t move. But what surprised me was once I continued to get out there and move as I approached each mile the pain was less and I felt so much better. My health improved and my energy level went up. I was committed to working at this everyday! I also noticed in relationships and marriage it’s the same thing. Your body heals itself and if you are hurt from a relationship it can heal, but it takes work and discipline. We are to eager to give up when we are hurt. We want to throw away the shoes and we think new ones will be better.
How do we become disciplined in our relationship? When you are hurt, acknowledge it to the person. Talk it out. You’d be surprised they maybe going through the same thing you are. To be disciplined it takes courage to admit when you are wrong about something and focus on what you need to improve, instead of what the other person needs to improve. It’s so easy to tell someone about his or her faults instead of allowing yourself to be honest about yours. This is most important. It’s so easy for us to point out the wrongs others do. Be disciplined in making changes in yourself. At first it will be painful, but the more you do it the less the pain will be, and the stronger your relationships will be. Discipline is how we strive for “Starting Forever.” Remember its one mile at a time.