The Seven Steps to Successful Relationships: A Testimonial
A testimonial from Kristy:
Everyone I know has given me relationship advice at some point or another. My well-meaning grandmother has occasionally asked if I have found a husband yet, hinting that I am running out of time. My friends tell me to be patient and wait. And when my engagement went south, everyone was there to help me pick of the pieces…kind of.
Rarely, though, is any of the advice useful. It’s usually dispensed with a motive—anything from “I want great-grandchildren before I die” to “I told you so.” When I became pregnant with my daughter, Jaime, and my relationship with her father fell to pieces, I was left searching for a reason to continue believing in love, and a need for something more than “I told you so.”
I hate relationship books. I really do. They’re usually arrogantly written and profit-directed. So when Keith Leon told me that he and his wife, Maura, had written The Seven Steps to Successful Relationships, I was a little wary. However, he had been ready and willing to listen to my rambling, self-pity laden, cynical manifestos and so many times he had offered advice (asking before dispensing, always) that I agreed to read the book.
I did. He already had me putting steps 1-4 into practice, and reading through the book helped me gain perspective on why he had suggested these things, and how they fit into the big picture. As I read and acted upon the suggestions, I found myself growing more confident, believing that love could still exist for me, and meeting people—friends and potential partners—who I am genuinely happy to be around.
Keith and Maura Leon aren’t at all arrogant—they are grateful for their relationship with one another and those around them and seek to share that with those who need the added relationship support. They are open and honest about how the processes they suggest have worked for them and have willingly shared their emotions—good and bad. I found in The Seven Steps the ability to become the kind of person I want to be around. I’ve heard “be a friend to have a friend” my entire life, but the concept of putting it into direct practice changed my perspective of that phrase. I learned to let go of the constant need to force my relationships into the mold of what I think they should be, and accept that if I am a good person, then I will find good people and good people will find me. I was able to take steps I had never taken before. Even risks. I used to wait for people to approach me (especially in my romantic endeavors), and when they didn’t I would feel insulted and often avoid them completely. Now, instead of waiting for someone I was interested in to come to me, I took the lead in the situation and discovered that if there’s something I really want (such as spending time with someone), it’s not just okay for me to express that desire, it’s a good thing!
I’m still working through the conflict resolution and integrity stages, the latter specifically right now. I haven’t been completely honest about my intentions with some of the men I’ve recently dated, and fear of losing these relationships has held me back from admitting that my feelings have changed. That fear is addressed specifically in The Seven Steps, and I am working towards being as honest with them as I can, despite my fears. With my former boyfriend and Jaime’s father, I found (and still find) it extremely difficult to completely let go. We aren’t speaking right now (both of us tend to be manipulative and hot-tempered, especially when it comes to Jaime), but sometimes I want so badly to either call him up and yell at him or tell him that I want to make things work—neither of which is necessarily a good idea. “If you have loved one another deeply, you never lose that love – it just changes form,” (The Seven Steps, page 116). These words have given me the courage to be patient; to give us time apart and hope that sometime in the future we can find a peaceful place, resolution, and closure.
I’m pressing forward in my life and my relationships. Though I have times of loneliness, uncertainty, and doubt, I know that I am capable of making my relationships work, and that gives me renewed hope.
I appreciate having had the opportunity to read The Seven Steps to Successful Relationships, for having met Keith (who has turned out to be a great friend!), and for being able to share the profound impact both have had on my life.
Successful Communications, Inc.
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