How Are You Caring For The Soil In Your Relationship?

Hey, don’t let your mind wander as you read the title.  I’m defining soil as what your relationship grows in, not the …… well, you know.

Although we don’t farm full-time anymore, we graze and market some natural grass-fed beef on our property.  We’ve got a genuine and respectful attachment to nature, and a concern for how we care for our land, water, and air.

I’ve had a drastic shift from the way I used to think about land, or more specifically, the soil.  My perception is that many farmers are experiencing something similar.

Bear with me, this does relate to your relationship with your partner.

I used to be concerned with how to get the most production from the land.  I was raising beef, hay, cereals, and oilseeds.  I used fertilizers and pesticides to produce as much as I could from the land each year.

Now I see our role as stewards of the soil, working with the natural rhythms to grow a healthy soil ecosystem where plants and animals play a symbiotic role.   We’re consciously giving the soil what it needs to be healthy, rather than taking what we can from it.

My relationship with Carol is similar 

Rather than striving to get happiness, fulfillment, and what Carol can do for me (including sex), I focus my attention on how I can give to the soil of the relationship.  My giving builds a healthy ecosystem so that the results we want are a natural by-product, not just for now, but for the long-term as the soil becomes healthier every day.

What are key flora and fauna in the soil of relationships (in all relationships, not just with your partner)?

Working with thousands of individuals and couples over the years, I believe Trust, Accountability, and Forgiveness are the micro and macro that allow love to flourish. Just like caring for the soil, it requires giving conscious, consistent, and persistent attention and work to ensure the soil is healthy for the long-term.

Trust

Trust is the most critical component and is also the most delicate – easily built and easily destroyed.  The late Stephen Covey used a bank account as a metaphor to describe trust in a relationship.

I have a trust account with Carol, you, and every other person I know.  These trust accounts measure the level of trust in the relationship.

Like a bank account, the only two transactions possible are deposits and withdrawals – each one affecting the balance in the account.

Consciously, I focus attention on thinking, saying, and doing things that are deposits in my trust account with Carol. My goal is to grow the trust balance higher and higher. When I do this, our relationship thrives, and I experience love, joy, and happiness.

When I’m not paying attention, I might slip and make a withdrawal, which depletes the trust.  When I do this, especially if it happens over and over, doubt, fear, and guilt enter the relationship.  The result isn’t pretty.

Knowing this, I set my intention daily, to make lots of deposits in the trust account.  When I become aware that I’m making withdrawals, or I feel Carol is making withdrawals, all I need to do is breath deeply (a few times) and choose love.

It’s easy – just takes attention.

Accountability

My definition of accountability is this (trust plays a role here too):

I choose and own every one of my thoughts, words, and actions.  I also own every result from those thoughts, words, and actions.

That means that I choose, or have chosen, exactly where I am, who I am, and the quality of my life right now.  Knowing this, it eliminates any reason for victimhood, blame, attack, or defensiveness.  I find it empowering because it means that if I want to experience something different, I simply need to choose again.

That may seem simple in theory, yet it has, and continues to be, a challenge for me.  Sometimes I feel like blaming, attacking, or fixing someone else, when all I need to do is breath deeply (a few times) and choose love.

It’s easy – just takes attention.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness has been a tough one for me in the past, however, it is getting easier as I choose love.

People often consider forgiveness as something we do for another person.  An example would be, “I forgive her because she said or did something that causes me pain or suffering.”  In my mind, this is victim mentality, whereby I have no choice or control of myself.  Ludicrous!

To me, forgiveness is a process of becoming aware of the untrue stories I’ve told myself about the other person (in my case, Carol), where I have made her my persecutor.  I have chosen to put brick after brick between us to the point where I cannot see her as she really is.

Forgiveness is when I choose to let go of those stories I made up, take the brick wall down, and remember that Carol is on her own journey.  Through forgiveness, I remember to love her for who she is, as an equal human being.  In those times when I feel I’ve been wronged, all I need to do is breath deeply (a few times) and choose love.

It’s easy – just takes attention.

What about you? 

What choice are you making NOW, to ensure a healthy ecosystem for your relationship?  If necessary, I invite you to breath deeply (a few times) and choose love.

If this is a challenge for you, I invite you to email (Dan@orDanAndCarol.com) or call me (780-785-9479) and let’s have a conversation.

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