Being in relationship is hard work sometimes. Hard work is good for us. That doesn’t mean it feels good. Sometimes relationships simply drift. With our spouse, with our children, with our friends.
Drifting is allowing ourselves to simply be swept along. Not putting the effort in to stay on course.
When we drift from God, we are less likely to do His will. We’re less likely to desire His company, seek His advice, guidance – even love. And so, the same goes for our earthly relationships. The more we drift, the less likely we are to seek out someone’s companionship, advice, friendship. And, the other side of the same coin, the less likely others are to seek out our guidance, time, love. Relationships can become fruitless.
Emotional distance compromises guiding influence.
When we don’t drift – we remain receptive to the other. The other remains receptive to us. Relationships are better when there is mutual receptivity. Softness of heart, willingness to listen. We are receptive when we feel safe. And so, in order to have closeness, ability to guide or help another, they must feel safe with us.
“To convert somebody, take him by the hand and guide him.”
Saint Thomas Aquinas
Don’t yell at him, belittle him, put him in his room, keep him at arm’s length, complain about him, punish him, cut him off emotionally, disrespect him, ignore him.
Take him by the hand.
Allow yourself opportunity for self-reflection. For taking yourself by the hand and guiding yourself. We have to stop and sort out our thoughts on a regular basis in order not to become bitter and resentful of the other. What do I need? What can I do to help myself? How can I grow? How can I be more tender towards the shortcomings of others?