I CAN’T DO THIS, THERE ISN’T ENOUGH TIME!
Chaos. The feeling of time pressure is part of our culture. There doesn't seem to be enough time to get "it all done". I will call this the "I don't want to live this way anymore" syndrome. The mind gets overwhelmed, and then shut down begins. We feel hopeless, worthless, lazy and angry. No one seems to understand, and the world keeps going right along!
In the third time we met, this couple was showing great improvement. He worked for a large corp and she was worked in the school system. 20 mins a week "taking" time for each other was all they could carve out. Their children are in every sport, he coaches and she runs a food pantry on the side. They get home from school and there is supper, and homework, dishes and bath time. Laundry, chores and then "getting ready for the next day". At the end of it, Saturday is "sports day" and Sunday is Church. "When do you expect us to have time together?" was the question they posed.
So I ask them a question. When do your children feel important, seen, heard, understood or feel a valuable part of the family? They didn't know. That turned the conversation a new direction. We began a new way of exploring "time".
Everyone wants these. To feel important, to be seen, to be heard, to be understood and to feel valued. We yearn for them. When these basic yearnings are met, we feel great. We behave better, and we care more about others. Children and adults know when these are being met and when they are not.
It takes effort to give someone your time. The excuse is, we don't have time. When, in reality, we don't take the time. It's pretty easy. You slow down, focus on the person you want to receive your attention, and give it to them. 5 minutes at a time. You look at them, listen to them, don't parent them or talk about you. You use the heart you have to lean toward them so they feel important, or heard, or understood. This will change how they feel about you.
This couple made the commitment to slow down, see their children, listen to them and help them feel important. This is not a fix-all. I do promise, however, that when done well, feeling seen, heard, valuable, important and understood will transform any child, or spouse or any human being for that matter.
This could be a magical 5 minutes! Your children will be suspect. Your spouse may be suspicious. Your co-worker or sibling might think you are acting odd. If they don't want to be with you when you want to offer it, ask for a time later or a better time to be with them.
We all only have 24 hours. Take time to lean into a relationship you have and show them you see them, hear them, understand them, and they are important and valuable. Here is the LEARN here. These yearnings are all related to TIME. Take time, like 5 minutes (which is a really long time, I know) and reach toward someone and tell them you like them and why.
Five words: Important, Seen, Heard, Valuable, and Understood.
Daniel C Clark
Relationship Coach and Life Coach