The Freedom to Choose

Happy post-Juneteenth and 4th of July, my friend!
Holidays like these remind us of our freedom.
I want to also remind you that you have the freedom to choose how you will show up in your relationship.
You – and only you – have the liberty to choose how you will show up in each interaction of your relationship.
I was taking notes during the sermon yesterday, and I had an “aha” moment when Bishop Dale Bronner said that your associations affect your pace. “When you walk with someone, either they adjust to your pace, or you adjust to their pace.”
When it comes to conflict, there may be times in your relationship where your partner is traveling at 100, but you know that engagement at that speed may cause an accident. You may say or do something that you later regret.
It’s at this place, my friend, where there is an optimal opportunity to change the pace.
Here’s the beauty of freedom in your relationships – you can control your reaction. You can de-escalate the situation by choosing a slower pace.
Oftentimes, behind intense negative emotions, you will find unspoken hurt, pain, and vulnerability. We can engage at a pace that will help heal those pains and vulnerabilities.
The following are helpful ways to slow down intense situations:

  • Soften your voice and speak slowly – this is a therapeutic trick.
  • Pretend that Jesus is sitting right beside you during your conversation because He actuality is right beside you. He wants you to exercise His grace and compassion.
  • Use humor to lighten the load. All couples experience conflict. However, happier couples repair well, and humor can be a helpful repair tactic.
  • Use your partner’s apology language. If you don’t know their apology language, ask them to take the quiz here:

You have the freedom to set a personal pace in conflict that will impact your relational pace. Always consider a pace that will be healthy for the long run of your journey together.
Don’t be too hard on your relationship vehicle. You want to get a lot of miles out of it, so that it can lead you to your desired destination.
You have the freedom to choose, and may you choose wisely and with love.
With love,
Dr. Cassandra

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