What if Love Could Feel More Like Relief?

Let’s be honest. Relationships get complicated. Loving the people in our life feels hard sometimes. 

 

But consider this... 

 

What if loving better looked less like work and more like relief?

 

What if loving more meant doing less?

 

Savor these words….

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

- Jesus

(Matthew 11:28-30,The Message)

What would “living freely and lightly” look like for you? How do “unforced rhythms of grace” work?

We spent a lot of YEARS trying to do all the right things in our relationships –with each other, with friends, family, coworkers and members of our community – but  we unknowingly sabotaged ourselves and our key relationships.

Turns out, being “right” is a sorry substitute for being loving.

For years, we believed the lie that we were more loving (and more lovable) if we could just be “do better” and meet everyone’s expectations, even if those expectations were not realistic and didn’t fit us.
 

Perfectionism is intimacy repellant. Unconditional acceptance cannot happen without authenticity. Yet, when the inevitable happened and we couldn’t keep that going, we faked and pretended our way through life.

Perfectionism kept us constantly slaving for an illusion that wasn’t attainable. We held ourselves and others to unrealistic standards, based on what we thought strong relationships were “supposed” to look like.

The results of all that effort: disappointment, resentment and exhaustion.

Perfectionism actually hinders relationships because it keeps us focused on ourselves. When we’re obsessed with how we measure up all the time, we don’t have the space or awareness to realize that our interactions with people aren’t all about us.

 

The way we were functioning was isolating. It didn’t make the people in our life feel loved nor did it make us more lovable.

  

When we stop the exhausting work of striving for perfection –  waiting for all conditions to be right before we offer one another acceptance – our relationships feel less like tyranny and more like a respite.

 

Being known and loved isn’t about perpetual bliss. It is about being human together. It’s about walking each other through life with grace and understanding. It’s about following the example of Jesus who said, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

 

When we are safe to be human beings together – known and valued for who we are rather than how perfectly we do “all the things” – transformation is inevitable. Love creates conditions for change as naturally as a flower blooming.

 

Love is a verb. It moves us to do great things together.

 

But…

 

Trying to do great things without Great Love is like trying fly without wings.

 

Unleashing love into our lives begins with the paradigm shift that doing more might cost us the things our corner of the world needs most:

A listening ear.

A tender heart.

Empathy.

Space for growth.

Grace.

Humility.

  

To save you a whole lot of energy and wasted effort, we bring you…

 

The Love Better “Not To Do” List

 

More than 30 years in-the-making, we’ve created a list of some exhausting, ineffective energy-suckers that sabotage our relationships every time.

 

Here are the things you don’t have to waste another minute doing. (Click the image for a free download you can print as a reminder.)

 
Love Better Not To Do List.jpg
 
Emily SutherlandComment