(An excerpt from Cultivating Love and Renewal by Dr Ken McGill)
The tools we use to grow love are many and varied in use and in function. We become aware of our need to have tools when adverse situations arise in our life (affairs, loss and grief, boundary failures, traumatization, etc.), or in times of joy (spiritual conversion, newly married, childbirth, etc.). The tools may be specific, concrete and “tangible” but our proficiency in using them correctly is usually due to our awareness of the “intangibles.”
Some “tangible” tools we use to cultivate love are Affection, Changed Behavior, Counseling, Conferences, Church, Comfort, Physicians, Service Work, Self-Control, Spiritual Disciplines (Prayer, Reading [Inspirational] materials, Meditation, etc.) and 12-Step Fellowships. Some “intangible” tools we use to cultivate love are Awareness, Acceptance, Communication, Compassion, Co-Operation, Devotion, Encouragement, Empathy, Forgiveness, Generosity, Humility, Investigation, Mercy, Patience, Personal Responsibility, Becoming “Safe,” Reconciling, Repairing, Romance, Speaking the Truth in Love, Thinking, Transparency and Understanding.
Isolation, Pride, Resentment, Schisms, Limited Insight, Abuse, Rage, Double-Mindedness, Strife and Immaturity all contribute to the failure of and destruction of any good work in the garden of your life. Overall, a lack of personal responsibility, a lack of partnership and “squandering of the gift” (not working diligently in this season of opportunity) will facilitate the slow death of any row or possibly the whole garden.
Examine yourself — Where is your current focus? What recalibration is needed in order to self-correct and re-engage in and complete this most important work? What is the payoff for continued neglect and a lack of self-care? All behavior has a function and it is dysfunctional if the outcome is a lack of fruitfulness, love, and growth. Can these dry fields come back to life? Absolutely, but not without hard work and a commitment to continue this work until healing, maturation and growth are realized.
Remember, “NIKE”™ encourages us to “just do it.” The Greek word from which NIKE™ originates means “victory.” Work harder, work smarter, just do it and experience the victory (fruitful changes in your behavior) that comes with your hard work. Cultivate healthy and focused romance, intimacy, touch, renewal, intercourse and commitment.