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• Living in Relationships
• Gaining Healthy Perspectives
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Living in Relationships• "When We Can't Untangle Ourselves"
• "Springing Back to Life"
• "In The Same Boat"
• "Restoring Power"
• "Don't Try This At Home!"
• The Community of a Peloton
• "Dadisms: Happy Father's Day!"
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• "Making A Great Entrance"
• "The Best Valentine's Gift of All"
• "The Healing Power of Community"
• "Let's Root, Root, Root for the Home Team"
• "The Available Parent"
• "Who Do You Appreciate?"
• "The Love Of A Father"
• "Miracle Workers"
• "Standing In Love"
• "Sitting Together, On Purpose"
• Christmas Love
• "Of Masks and Halloween"
• "Coaching Opportunities"
• "Muscular Love"
• Pay Attention To What You Pay Attention To
• "Learning to Shift"
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• "Emotional Triangles"
• "The Grass is Always Greener....."
• Commencement Exercises
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• "Big Shoes To Fill"
• "Emotional Cutoffs"
• "The Ground Begins to Soften"
• "How Silently, How Silently, the Wondrous Gift is Given"
• "Deploying Our Energy"
• A Reminder to Pay Attention to What We Pay Attention to
• Life itself is the proper binge
• Relationship Math
• Standing in the Need of Prayer
• All In Good Time
• Happy Mothering Day!
• You, Too, Can Be a Superhero
• Moving Well Without the Ball
• I DARE YOU!
• The Rest of the Story
• A New Kind of Stimulus Package
• You Are In Love
• Pilots and Passengers
• Donít Be a Frog When Dealing with Stress
• The Roots of Change
• A Higher Degree of Resolution
• TRICK or TREAT Just for Halloween
• Pay Attention to What You Pay Attention To
March 22, 2009
Moving Well Without the Ball
The Rev. Dr. Scott StonerI spent a great deal of time watching college basketball this weekend and so for this week's "Words of Wellness" I want to reflect on some of the lessons I learned from the NCAA Tournament as they apply to emotional, spiritual and relational wellness.
One of the most important observations I made is that assists are as important as scoring points. For those who are not basketball fans, an assist is when a player makes a pass to another player that then leads to the second player scoring. The person making the assist often gives up a chance they might have to score in order to assist the other player in scoring. Because scoring is what gets most of the attention, assist makers are admired for being selfless, team players.
When it comes to our relationships and our families, the same is true--assists are as important as scoring points, perhaps even more important. Our egos are often tempted to "score points" in arguments with loved ones so that we might "win" the argument. The "win" is often short-lived though as we are usually sowing the seeds for the next argument. Seeking to make assists with those we are closest to will actually serve us much better in the long run. A selfless family/team player is most interested in making others look and feel their best. No one likes a ball hog, either on the court or, at home or at work.
A second lesson I learned is that that the good teams seem to know just the right time to call a time out. There are so many emotional swings in a college basketball game and sensing when your team is struggling and needs some time to regroup is essential. The same is true in all of our relationships, whether at home, work, or other communities we are involved in. Emotional swings are a part of every relationship and organization. Knowing when to call or take a time out to regroup is essential to healthy functioning.
I teach people to call a time out on themselves when they are getting heated in a conversation. "I need to take a time out because I feel like I'm about to say something I'm going to regret," is much more helpful than, "I'm calling a time out because you are out of control!" Agreeing to postpone a discussion until everyone is less emotionally flooded will always be a good call to make. Time outs in a relationship, as in basketball, also give us a time to reassess the situation and make a better plan about how to respond. It might even give us a chance to commit to move from trying to score points to making assists.
Half time in basketball is an extended time out. These extended time outs are also essential for healthy couples, families and organizations. Retreats, enrichment programs, and vacations are all necessary times for us to recreate ourselves and get clarity on the "bigger picture." These extended time outs are necessary for rest, renewal and perspective. "Half times" are a chance for all of us to evaluate ourselves, and the choices we are making, and to make adjustments as necessary.
Finally, one of the humble lessons I have learned again this year is that I cannot predict the future and that just because I expect something to happen does not mean that it will. Every year I fill out my bracket predictions on who is going to win which games and every year I am amazed at how wrong I am. People love to have me in their NCAA pools.
Relationships are like that, too. We often are filled with expectations and predictions of how a friend, a spouse, a child or a parent will, or should act, only to realize that we have little control over the outcomes and choices that others choose. Learning to love and cherish our loved ones even when they don't behave the way we expect is an essential key to wellness.
So enjoy the rest of the tournament. And if anyone wonders if you are spending too much time watching basketball, perhaps you can explain to them that you are really just working on lessons for your emotional, spiritual and relational wellness.