Relationships can be seen as progress notes.  They help us to see the blocks we create in our lives that stop us from being free of past negative thoughts.  They are God’s way of helping us to question and refine who we are.   

When we notice what we think or project onto others or even the environment, we are uncovering valuable information about ourselves. If the thoughts are positive then we can be grateful for them.  When they are negative, we can stop and examine them. They are roadblocks standing in the way of living an authentic, joyful way.

My husband loved to buy me things.  It was his way of showing that he cared.  I remember when he came home one day with an out of season melon.  Yes, a melon.  It cost a fortune and I made him wrong for buying it.  At another time he wanted to buy me a car, and yes, I certainly made him wrong about that. I figured as long as my old car was still running it was fine.  

It took me a long time to allow him and others to share their joy of giving to me.  When I examined it I realized that it was about control.  “I was the one to give to others and receiving meant that I was weak.”  Crazy thought, but it blocked me from really appreciating others and allowing a “give and take” in relationships.

I have a reasonable fear about getting to the airport on time.  Now that I live alone it’s not like I can ask a family member to drive me.  Living in the hills makes it difficult for taxi, Uber or Lyft drivers to find their way.  A neighbor found out that I needed a ride and graciously offered to take me.  I should add, the pick up time was 6:00 a.m.  I agonized over letting her give me such a gracious gift.  In the end I accepted and it began a deepening of our relationship. Once again I had to let go of control and be the receiver and not the giver.

At present a friend is helping me put my website together.  Do I appreciate it?  Absolutely! I also wonder how I can give back to her.  It’s a huge gift.

There is a saying in the twelve step program, “as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.”  I had been focusing on giving to the world and not allowing the world to give to me. Using relationships as progress notes is helping me to break down some of my protective barriers.

Progress notes are part of my daily journal writing. I write three or more things I did well, three or more things I’m grateful for, and at least one obstacle.  My homework never ends.

As you continue to read the articles I write, or have written on Relationships, you will notice that they include a broad way of examining life.  It is my intention to encourage you to notice your thinking on a daily basis.