When relating to others do you just offer platitudes and kind words, or do you give your heart?
There’s a thin line between fulfilling the mechanics of what’s right and expected of us, and being fully immersed in a relationship. One requires habit. The other requires heart.
The uninteresting nature of some habits has its place in our lives, particularly for completing everyday tasks or for the development of a new skill. But when it comes to relationships and matters of the heart, something very different is needed.
We know two things; one, habits aren’t easy to develop, and two, habits have their place. But if we’re not careful, they can become lifeless.
For example, to simply be in the habit of telling my wife, “I love you” by rote, won’t be enough to express the depth of love I have for her or show how much I appreciate having her in my life.
Likewise, the habit of asking someone, “How are you?”, means nothing without having the genuine curiosity and care that the question implies. If my heart isn’t in the question and it’s simply a formality, it’ll mean nothing to the person on the receiving end.
When touching the lives of others, our habits, as they relate to our relationships, need to be more heartfelt and considered. When interacting with others there needs to be something deeper and more meaningful.
Genuine connection with people
In your efforts to connect with others you need to get beyond the routine of the behaviours that are expected of you within a given environment, and instead, move towards a deeper connection — a connection of the heart and soul.
When you connect with people at this level you’ll open a door of possibilities because you’ll begin to cultivate relationships characterised by vulnerability and openness. And doing so will help you to give and gain wonderful insights.
As you move beyond the habits you’ve developed and lean in with your heart — making real connections — you’ll begin to see the gift that people are to you, the lessons they can teach you, and the contribution they make to your life.
You’re also more likely to overlook their shortcomings, to have more patience when they make mistakes, and to be willing to get alongside them in their moment of need because you’ll genuinely care.
To go with all your heart is to be fully immersed — to be willing to give your all in every situation, in every conversation, in every moment.
In making yourself vulnerable, you’ll do a powerful thing that builds and strengthens relational ties. And with this you’ll become more grateful, more content, and experience more enriching relationships.
Go with all your heart
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” Confucius
So wherever you’re going, be sure to go with all your heart. It’ll be good for you and good for others.