“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21
From sweet-smelling flowers to tasty chocolates, and oh so sweet cards…February is considered the month of love. I must admit, while my sweet tooth would love a box of Godiva Classic Dark Chocolates, Valentine’s Day has never been my favorite to celebrate.
For one, I’m still winding down from the holidays and two, fighting traffic and reserving a table at a restaurant on February 14th is not speaking my love language. Who’s with me on that?
Instead, I choose to focus on showing my love and strengthening relationships with my spouse, children, family, and friends all 365 days.
The older I get, the more quickly I am to forgive and the more I work on building strong, healthy bonds. If I had a piece of advice to give to my younger self, it would be to love harder, forgive faster and savor the sweet moments life gives.
Why is this so important? Because time is fleeting and creating opportunities to make beautiful memories with the people I love, fills my heart. My hope is to guide others on how to do the same.
Love, Forgiveness & Communication
God gave us His gifts of love, forgiveness, and communication. At the foundation of every relationship is the ability to communicate with one another. Trust me, I know communication can be difficult. Over the years, it’s taken me lots of practice (and patience!) to really connect with others.
Has your loved one ever ticked you off and you were quick to anger? Then you both ended up saying something you didn’t mean? Guilty. I’ve been in that situation before and it left me feeling remorseful.
There’s no doubt our words have the power to tear others down or build each other up.
Over the holidays, a loved one was in a particularly grumpy mood, which is not typical of that person. The bad attitude was causing friction in the house.
Instead of getting upset, which is what I wanted to do, I took a step back and tried to understand what they may be going through. I realized they have been working many hours, managing stressful projects and they haven’t taken much time off. So, what I did do about the situation?
My loved one was outside in the garage, and I was inside the house in the kitchen. I stopped what I was doing, walked outside, and gave that person a big hug without saying anything. Then, I gently asked what was going on and we had a nice, brief conversation.
Tips for Heart-Centered Communication
I share my personal story to illustrate how giving a little grace to your loved ones and even people you may not know can make a difference in someone’s life. We never know what a person is experiencing until we truly understand their situation.
We can begin to understand people on a deeper level through heart-centered communication. This approach involves awareness, understanding, love, listening and maintaining a sense of calm.
Here are tips to help you speak from your heart and connect with others.
- Find the best place and time for a conversation.
- Before the conversation, take a deep breath, settle in your body, and ground your intentions.
- Soften and relax your gaze, throat, eyes, chest, and heart.
- Determine what you want to achieve during your conversation. Do you have certain needs to be met or do you need to better understand something?
- Approach the conversation with empathy and understanding.
- Actively listen and ask questions.
- Maintain eye contact and awareness of non-verbal communication cues.
- Focus on where you both agree and discuss possible solutions.
- If needed, take a break from the conversation, and resume at another time.
- Determine a time to follow-up on the solutions to see how you are both progressing after the conversation.
What’s in your heart today? Is it the gentleness, kindness, and love, or is it anger and bitterness?
In what ways can you give people your gift of heart-centered communication?
Maegan Turner is a wife and mother, stress management advocate and the owner of Luminare Life, a health and wellness company dedicated to helping people ditch their stress so they can live with more freedom, balance, and joy. With more than 10 years of experience in corporate communications, Maegan transitioned to stress management coaching to help other people live a life they love. Book a free breakthrough session with her today!
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