Connecting through Conversation
So if I choose what I think is the good path that leads to intimacy with God and deep, healthy relationships with others, how can I be sure that I’m on it?
In Galatians 5, Paul describes the fruit of the good path as: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” In the world of science, researchers refer to the good path as “secure attachment”. Secure attachment is a bit of a dance…”lending support while supporting separation.” It turns out that secure attachment provides what every mammal (we can substitute human) needs: reliable trustworthy access to the people who care about us and whom we care about, a safe place to really listen and really talk about things that are important to us, and warm affection that honors our personal temperament and boundaries. We thrive when we are seen, safe, soothed, and secure in our close relationships. These are markers of the good path.
So if we are looking to walk this good path, what are some things we can do to create places to be seen, safe, soothed, and secure in our close relationships? John Gottman, who has studied marriage for over 40 years, encourages a practice referred to as the Stress Reducing Conversation. The practice and its benefits are described in this entry from the Gottman Blog:
Maybe try it for a week and see what happens. Comment on this post to let us know how the experiment goes.