As we continue with our handful of ideas series, this week we refer to our wedding ‘ring' finger!…
Just for clarity, I'm referring to the 4th finger that we would traditionally wear a wedding or engagement ring on.
This finger is known as the 'wedding ring’ finger because a long time ago, before scientist William Harvey [1578-1657] discovered how the circulation system actually worked, people generally believed that a vein connected the left hand directly to the heart. They viewed the physical heart as being closely connected to the this finger, and the emotion of love.
Back then they might not have fully known as we do today how the hearts biology and physiology worked, but they did recognised that our physical and emotional ‘parts’ are holistically connected.
Today, UCLA scientists are discovering that loneliness and isolation is toxic. Living with out meaningful relationships is literally breaking our hearts because it is associated with higher blood pressure and heart disease, which increase our risk of dying.
Researchers are trying to understand exactly how loneliness causes disease at the cellular level. Scientists are also finding that loneliness is far more than a psychological pain — it’s a biological wound that wreaks havoc on our cells.
Having deep and meaningful relationships is therefore good and healthy for our mind, body and soul.
That shouldn’t be a surprise because we were created to be in relationship and community and weren’t designed to be on our own. I’m not just referring to romantic or family relationships here - being in any supportive and edifying relationship is good.
But if that is the case, I wonder why do some people end up socially isolated and why don’t we spend more time in community and connecting with others?
Here are a few possible reasons ...
Our life circumstances may change and we suddenly find ourselves having no connected family, or friends.
We don’t have any natural opportunities to meet new friends - it require lots of courage to overcome that daunting feeling of potential rejection to go out on our own and meet new people.
Because there are times when being in relationship with someone, anyone, can just be hard.
Meeting others who might have different viewpoints, experiences and values to us can result in us unintentionally being offended or offending others. In our hurt we can allow our pride to take over and shut down, or withdraw, to avoid being hurt again.
Sometimes meaningful relationships can just feel like hard work, they require so much give and take, and cost so much energy. We can tell ourselves the lie that we'd be better off on our own and simply give up on trying.
I find it helpful to remember the “big picture” when bumping into people who see the world differently than I do.
The big picture is that we are better in relationship.
It helps me to think about and celebrate those things that we do have in common, and it’s also healthy to accept differences. When I keep an open heart I am often surprised about how much I can learn from some else’s experience and view points!
Perhaps today’s research could help us remember and motivate us to not give up on relationships and friendships. Perhaps it can help us to forgive others when they hurt us, not necessarily because they deserve it, but because it is better for our own health and wellbeing.
There is an uncomfortable and well known quote that says;
“un-forgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die."
That is probably because un-forgiveness kills our meaningful relationships, eats away at our soul and leads to isolation and loneliness.
So this week, rather than believe the lie that it would just be easier or we’d be better off on our own than in a relationship, why not instead be brave and think
“how can I be brave about meeting new people?" or "is there a new way I could meet people?” "are there any relationships that could be restored with a little forgiveness on my part?" "am I holding a grudge I need to let go of?"
If you are already in healthy meaningful relationships ask;
“how can I invest more into my meaningful relationships?” or even “can I give a hand to someone I know who might be feeling isolated?”
If we can do any of these, we could also be subsequently investing into our own holistically healthy heart.
If you're thinking about starting a journey to improve your health and wellbeing and want to invest in some meaningful relationships, then why not join almost 200 others and download our FREE Intentional Health journey workbook Click on the picture below to help get you started on your journey towards living a healthier, happier life..
And as always, thanks to those who take the time to email and let me know how much the posts bless you and share it and if you've noticed any ways you are connected, we'd love to hear about it!
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