Turning 2020 outward, one relationship at a time

by Gillian Campbell

8 Jan, 2020 at 1:42 pm

We have just experienced a time of potentially sharing our time with others and reflecting and enjoying the spirit of our respective beliefs and traditions. For some this is a time of great connection, light, love and joy, for others maybe some sadness and loneliness, frustration and annoyance. For some the ‘expectation’ to be happy, connected to others and fulfilled, can bring pressure and disappointment.

Whatever your experiences were, we now move towards the closing of 2019. The gift of letting go, putting things to rest, closing the year and the chapter. The chance to create the possibility of new beginnings, hope and relationships.

Could a part of the new beginnings include a resolution to see those closest to you in a more outward way? Even just one step on the mindset continuum towards outward?

Could you reflect on the year and think about those closest to you. Those with whom maybe your relationship was not where you hoped it would be through the holidays or the year. Maybe someone who you no longer wish the relationship to be where it has been in the past and you would like to feel more at peace with how they are in your life.

Could you spend five minutes re-seeing the person they are behind the behaviours you are impacted by?

  1. Seek to see the person behind the behaviours. What fears, challenges, needs and pressures may have caused them to act in the way they have?
  2. In what ways may we have increased their fears, their vulnerability or amplified their need to act out their doubts in the ways we find uncomfortable.
  3. Have we ever been afraid or vulnerable and acted in ways that may annoy others?
  4. Where could we seek within ourselves; curious enquiry, compassion, acceptance and understanding when others display ‘interesting behaviours’?

Finding greater depths of tolerance, understanding or just curiosity for the people who we are in key relationships with does not make us victims, it does not allow them to win. This is not necessarily choosing to forgive and forget. This is seeing their fears, their pressures their needs, seeing them as people. No more or less human than us, and then responding, acting on what we see in the light of this clear sight.


If in 2020 if we can build a practice of curious enquiry when the closest people around us share ‘interesting’ behaviours, or perhaps we choose more often to talk only when speaking will bring us and others peace. If the conversations we have are person to person, having backbone with heart. If we seek to see the person behind the behaviours, see their vulnerability, fears and needs and honour them and ourselves with peace, compassion, curiosity and act in the light of that seeing… what could the change be?

What could finding a space to bring light to the world and to turn the world outward bring if, as we go into 2020, we all turn outward, one relationship at a time?

Have a peace-filled, loving New Year.

Gill, Arbinger UK.