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  • Writer's pictureStephen


I know that last week I said I had one final idea to go along with my series on starting the new year well (ReflectProject (the Verb)Grace, and Forward vs Failure), however, I thought of one more concept I wanted to share before we switch gears.


Most of what we have been thinking about these past few weeks involve how we are managing ourselves. That's actually critical, especially when we remember we really only have control over ourselves and our own choices and responses to others and life circumstances. We can certainly have some influence over others, but the hard reality is, we can't actually control anyone else, just ourselves.

While all of that is true, it's also incredibly important that we recognize we can't travel this journey of life on our own.  We really do need others to help us learn, grow and navigate this journey.  Therefore, it is vital that we make intentional connections with others who can be good partners and helpers in our lives.  Allow me to suggest two connections I think are absolutely necessary for us to live well.

Connections that Stretch Us

Do you have people in your life who make you think and cause you to stretch?  I have some individuals like that in my life and I have to admit that sometimes I wish they wouldn't challenge me! Life would be so much easier if they didn't ask hard questions or challenge my thinking.  But when I pause and reflect on how they have actually helped me with their questions, I am incredibly grateful! I know I wouldn't be half the person I am without them! Their willingness to connect with me in ways that challenge and stretch me, helps me to grow and develop into a much more balanced, stable, and emotionally healthy individual.

Connections that Support Us

Do you also have people in your life who are in your corner no matter what may be happening?  I've heard these people described as "my ride or die," or as "the people who will come when I call, no questions asked." I've got a few people like this in my life too, and wow am I thankful for them! I know that I can count on them to support me no matter what may be happening.  They'll do whatever they can, whenever they can.  However, it's often hard for me to ask them for help.  It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking I should be able to navigate most things on my own rather than remembering that if the tables were turned, I would be honored to offer them that kind of connecting support too! When I do remember and ask for help, I am always humbled and grateful for the ways in which these people offer me their deep love and support, and I am a much more balanced, stable, and emotionally healthy person as a result of their connection.

What other types of connections have you found to be helpful in your own journey?  Are there individuals you need to thank for being an important part of your life? Have you been neglecting some of those vital connections, trying to manage on your own without help and support? How could you take some intentional steps to strengthen those critical connections?

Here's to being people of Connection this week!

Be Well,


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