Relationships can be TOUGH. Arguably, they’re the most difficult part of life. We all want to be loved and appreciated, but given how different we all are — there’s constant potential for conflict.
Romantic relationships, familial relationships, work relationships … they all come with their own set of challenges. We frequently differ in beliefs, expectations, or understanding. Inevitably we might find fault with other people, or vice versa.
And we almost always forget about the most important relationship of all — the one we have with ourselves. Rarely do we speak kindly to ourselves, or offer ourselves the love and support we need.
So how can we improve our relationships with others — and with ourselves?
All Relationships Have Challenges
Sadly, 50% of all first marriages, 70% of all second marriages, and 90% of all subsequent marriages will end up in divorce.1 Unsurprisingly, money and finances are the number one cause of arguments in romantic relationships.
But despite these statistics, we keep trying. Why is that?
One word: HOPE
Hope is that optimistic attitude based on our belief in a positive outcome. Hope is so much more than just a feel-good emotion, it’s a cognitive motivational system. It allows people to look at problems with a mindset of success.
The feeling of hopelessness often becomes self-fulfilling, leading us to sabotage our own situations or give up far too soon. But, a new study has shown that giving people reason to hope can also be self-fulfilling.2
Hope can change the way we think and behave. And, in turn, it can change our relationships for the better.
Why is Hope So Important?
Hope often gets a bad rap. For some, it conjures up images of a blissfully naïve chump pushing up against a wall with a big smile. But cutting-edge science shows that hope, matters a lot.
Sir Fazle Abed, founder of a Bangladeshi aid group called BRAC noted, “Poverty is not just poverty of money or income. We also see a poverty of self-esteem, hope, opportunity and freedom. People trapped in a cycle of destitution often don’t realize their lives can be changed for the better through their own activities. Once they understand that, it’s like a light gets turned on.”3
Instilling Hope with SOS
The SOS Method increases loving connection with yourself and others, by releasing shame, blame and anger. This allows you to have more honest and heartfelt communication, which inevitably improves relationships. 4
Hope has much more power than we tend to realize. Cultivating hope through the SOS meditations empowers us to make better decisions about all aspects of life – work, money, and relationships. It isn’t that all our challenges disappear, it’s just that we handle them from a new perspective. How we interact with our loved ones, acquaintances, and friends can radically transform.
Less fighting, more loving. Who wouldn’t want that?
1. Option Institute. (2008). Relationships. Retrieved from: http://www.option.org/programs/choose-a-program/relationships
2. Innovations for Poverty Action. (2014). Anti-poverty strategy offers sustained benefit for world’s ultra-poor, says new study in Science. Retrieved from: https://www.poverty-action.org/node/8951
3. New York Times. (2015). The Power of Hope Is Real. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/21/opinion/nicholas-kristof-the-power-of-hope-is-real.html?_r=1
4. Karlin, Marlise. (2015). The Simplicity of Stillness Method: 3 Steps to Rewire the Brain and Access Your Highest Potential. Watkins. p 118.