Exercise Your Life #6: Strengthen Your Core Relationships

exercise your life strengthen your core relationships

I have saved the best for last.  This final one is the most meaningful to me, and it’s the one that will bring you the most health.

Your core relationships: they go up, they go down, and they go side-to-side.  Translated that means your bonds with your parents, your kids, and your spouse.  Your physical health springs from the health of these relationships.

There’s something about those family relationships that etch us on the inside, giving us a fate that steers the direction of our health.  These core relationships, they make us or break us (if we don’t work on them).  Our core relationships have high influence on our emotional selves, and we can not separate our physical selves from our emotional selves.  Core relationships are labeled “core” because that is exactly where they imprint us:  at the core.

This is the stuff everyone likes to avoid, and a lot of people also have no idea how much these relationships have impacted them.  So there’s this avoidance AND a lack of awareness.  I think it’s a mixture of both of these things that cause us to think our physical health is one dimensional.  We like to think that our childhood relationship with our father has nothing to do with our chronic neck pain.  But it’s all connected.  We can’t cut off our core relationships from affecting our health.  Why?  Because many times the damage done in a core relationship whispers a message to our inner self that we are defective in some way.  We fall for that message.  We believe it because it’s, well, a core relationship.  And then our body, she follows what the mind believes.

Strengthening your core relationships looks different for everybody, and it varies depending on the relationship.  Working on a relationship with your deceased parents will look very different than that of your living child.  It kind of seems weird, strengthening a relationship when the other person isn’t around anymore.  You can ask yourself, how has this relationship impacted who I am?  Was there an overarching message from this relationship that impacted me in a positive or negative way?  What was the message from the relationship?

For those still in your life, it may be very well worth your time to explore the messages you are getting and giving in your core relationships.  Actions speak louder than words.  You can say “I love you” with your lips, but what are your actions saying?  Does your schedule say, “you’re not worth my time”?

The best way to strengthen these relationships is to heal them from the inside out.  What is it inside of you that makes you pass up in person time with your mom?  Why do you always flip at your husband when dirty dishes are all over the kitchen?  What is there, deep in there, I’m pointing right at that?  What is it inside your heart that is affecting your behavior in the core relationship?  I encourage you to investigate these things.  If it’s too difficult to do this alone, find help from a friend, a pastor, a spiritual leader, or a professional.

Healthy core relationships that give a positive message about who you are enables your body to function as intended.  Love is powerful medicine.

How have you seen your physical health change after working on these relationships?

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6 Responses

  1. Keya

    These are wonderful points to make. For me my life seems really upside down when me and my husband are at odds, even if everything else in my life seems right. The reverse is also true. I seem to be able to weather any storm so long as I am secure in my married life. By the same token, my physical wellness has improved ever since I began letting go of some of the anger and resentment I’ve felt toward my father who passed about about 9 years ago. We really are whole creatures and cannot separate one domain of our existence from the others. Thanks for sharing!


    Dr. Archer

    Keya – Thank you for sharing your experience with how our emotions impact our health. I’m glad you were able to see that connection!


  2. Diane Squyres

    So true Archer, so true. healing is not fun sometimes, but it sure does give you a better life all around!


  3. aunt lisa

    I completely agree with everything you wrote. For myself, I have to add one more person or spiritual being. I always feel more relaxed and at peace after I’ve had my talkwith God. I believe that the body, mind, and spirit are all connected and that they all need to be heathy in order to really feel good inside and out.
    Some say that our values come from our spirual beliefs and some say it comes from our core relationships. I say they are both very important to our overall health. We are what we think. As a young child we think as we are told and taught. As we age, some of us realize that God is no joke. HE is for real. So then as we grow spiritually we realize that God is our Heavenly father, therefore He becomes included in our core relationships.
    Those who deny the existence of God are more judgemental of themselves. This in turn sets them up for depression and as you are saying, if not treated can and has lead to phsychial illnesses.
    Your advice needs to be read by more people. God has given you great wisdom, Archer. Have you ever thought of writing a newspaper column? When are you gonna publish a book?

    Your advice needs to be read by more people. God has given you the gift of great wisdom, Archer.


  4. Kika@embracingimperfection

    My stress levels are so much lower when things are “right” with my core relationships… and primarily with my husband. We’ve been talking about this (and I plan on blogging on the topic soon) since we are in the fastest-paced season of life for us so far and it is so easy for us to become disconnected. It is not enough even to date eachother anymore; we must make a very conscious effort to regularly touch and communicate in meaningful ways – not just managing life or family together. I enjoyed your post.


    Dr. Archer

    Kika – thank you so much for your honest comment. I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I loved writing about it!


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