You schedule a dentist appointment. Then the days wind down to that either dreadful or anticipated day, depending on how you view dental visits. I like to put in extra effort on my teeth the morning I head to the dentist. As if my extra brushing and flossing is going to take away all the dark chocolate I ate months prior.
When I was younger, a dental hygienist told me, “floss the teeth you want to keep” and showed me how to properly floss my teeth and go under my gums. Her words stuck with me. They make me think about the intention that’s needed to keep healthy things in our lives moving at a constant pace.
What if I applied the same set of words to my writing, running, and relationships?
Write the words you want to keep.
Run the miles you want to keep.
Invest in the relationships you need to keep.
I think the “need” in relationships challenges me. It’s easy for me to be intentional about the relationships I want. The ones I need are a little different. I don’t always see my need for them, likely because I don’t want them. Especially if the work it takes to do them is hard. And relationships are just hard sometimes.
Relationships are these glorious personal mirrors God uses to show me who I am. Sometimes I love these mirrors. What I see blesses me in the life and connection I experience with people who want to know me.
Other times I don’t want to look at the mirrors. They show my disappointments in people. They show me “me.” I don’t want to look at the hard and the difficult when relationships don’t work out. When they stall out. Even when they die.
But the mirrors are good and they are necessary. I need to see myself, what I bring to situations that’s good and what I bring that ain’t so good. And I need to be willing to let go of stuff that won’t help me invest well in the relationships I want and the relationships I need to keep.
How do you need to “floss” in your life this week?