Think outside the box if relationship is to grow

Deacon Dave Farinelli, Catholic Counseling Service
Bridal Registry

Often we find ourselves in some quandary without a usual answer. When we seek answers, someone will invariably suggest that we “think out of the box.”

Even with this suggestion, we aren’t certain how to do that.

Today, marriages and relationships are running into more and more difficulty. The distractions of our world continue to encourage us to be self-seeking. New “things” always draw our attention,  and, today, new things are coming at a faster pace than ever before. Our minds are turned inward with wonder, seeking the next innovation and pushing people further away from us.

The collapse of our marriages and relationships are the cost of all the “thing” innovations. We are so absorbed in what is happening with those around us – outside of us – all the while ignoring those next to us, within our own homes.

Thinking outside the box unfortunately will require a good deal of work. It means seeing the world differently. It is similar to what President Kennedy stated: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!” Think about that thought.

The box is us. When we focus our thoughts and desires on the distractions and gadgets of the world, we are thinking only of ourselves, how these things can satisfy us. We find ourselves constantly seeking “happiness and satisfaction,” all the while alienating others. So what do we do?

Change the focus, from within to outside. Begin looking at life from the aspect of service. How can we serve others?

Couples in good marriages and relationships consistently seek ways to care and nurture their spouses and friends, creating the environment necessary to grow those relationships. Developing a servant mentality, seeking the good of others and providing what others need orient us toward vulnerability. This is the necessary ingredient for a satisfying relationship. We can’t get there without consistently thinking of others over ourselves.

Today is a good day to begin reorienting ourselves, are you up for the challenge?

Deacon Dave Farinelli is clinical supervisor for the Catholic Counseling Service. He can be reached at 861-6245 or 606-4342.

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