While standing in line at the store, you can feel the person right behind you. They are shifting back and forth and mumbling something inaudible under the breath. They are crowding your space in line as if by doing so the line will move faster. If you try to get a bit more room, you will crowd the person in front of you. You’re stuck.
The things in our lives require space. When pressed for space we are often unable to be fully present. We simply have no room. So the important things in our lives are shoved to the back of the line in order to address the immediate things. When we understand the ebb and flow of our space, we will better understand our relationships. Our relationships ebb and flow along with our space. When we have space for our relationships, our relationships improve.
There are five areas where space is basic to us all; physical, mental, time, emotional and spiritual.
Physical space allows for comfort. When things are in their place, they are easy to retrieve because everything has a home. We know right where things are. There is a flow to getting things done. Relationally, physical space is the shared space in our relationships. We share our lives with another human being by choice. We share a house, a room, a bathroom, a closet. How do these spaces look right now? Would they benefit from some decluttering? Next time you are in your relational space, take a look around. Take action to create a good space for your relationship. Amazing things will happen with this very first step.
Mental space allows us to be present in the moment. Space to create, reminisce, honor, cherish, love. When mental space is not present, busyness takes over. The mind is always “on”. On the next meeting, the work at the office, the housework, the kids. Too little mental space leads to lying in bed at night unable to go to sleep because the mind is racing. And it leads to being unable to really connect with a spouse because they have no room in your head or can’t possibly keep up with the speed of your thoughts. Let’s begin to clear our heads by looking at what’s bugging us. Unfinished projects, clutter, unresolved issues, housework, just getting by. Address the things you can. Confront yourself about whether the things you want to do you really should be doing. Then learn to incorporate some mind clearing exercise into each day; take a walk in the morning or evening, meditate, pray, listen to good music, be silent in nature, exercise. As we improve our ability to give our minds space, our relationships will improve.
When there is time in life to do the things important to us, life is fulfilling and satisfying. Life is clear and on purpose. When there isn’t enough time, we are rushed and frazzled. We have no standards as to how to use our time, thus we have poor boundaries. We waste time. Handle only the immediate, rarely returning to the important. So ask yourself this; how much time do I have for my relationship? Am I using my time well in my relationship? When we understand the role time plays in our relationship, we have the power to choose how to spend that time. If we don’t allow time in our relationship, it will deteriorate. Acknowledge the time you have or don’t have and take action accordingly.
Emotional space allows us to experience the whole range of life’s emotions. When we have emotional room, we are free to heed our emotion’s advice, no longer being dominated by them. We can be close to ourselves and others with less fear of being lost or smothered. We all have certain amounts of emotional clutter; past issues, hurts, grief, grudges. Just like the stacks of clutter in our office or home, it is beneficial to clear away emotional clutter. Seek professional help in counseling, hire a professional coach to assist you, take a vacation. Take care of your emotional space and you will experience more out of life.
When our spiritual space is open and clear, our gifts and talents are evident and free flowing. When our spiritual space is cramped or blocked, we lose access to our intuition and our deeper selves. So much of our learning comes from our internal listening, our intuition. We would be wise to continually look for ways to expand our spiritual channels. Pray, mediate, read spiritual writings, listen to uplifting music. Connecting with God pulls us out of ourselves. It helps to keep things in perspective, gives hope and the ability to enjoy more in life.
By increasing the space in our lives, we uncover the possibility to create more in life. Better relationships, jobs, homes, families. We are each capable of more in life. Acknowledge the spaces you have, and then create the spaces you want.