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We have just completed a busy mail order season sending food gifts for many people to friends and family. With these gifts came our offer to complete a handwritten card with the gift givers personalized message. As I wrote other people's salutations on cards, I  started thinking about their relationships and what the Christmas season represents to many.

I am in my 60th year and finally learning that life IS all about relationships. The one you have with others and the one you have with yourself. I have learned from experience that you cannot have "great" relationships without being intentional and how we accept ourselves first deeply affects how we accept others.

Before I started to get into New Year's resolutions mindset, I sensed that a new tradition for me this Christmas will be a time to work intentionally on my relationships. 

A time to repair and restore relationships and even rejoice in them. In the spirit of this, I will share a gem of wisdom called Three Words, I have taken a little creative license. I am sorry to say I do not know the author of this but I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Two boys on traintracks


Three Words

“There are many things that you can do to strengthen your relationships. Often the most effective thing you can do involves saying just three words. When spoken sincerely, these statements often have the power to develop new friendships, deepen old ones and even bring healing to relationships that have soured…

The following three-word phrases can be tools to help develop every relationship.

1. Let me help

Good friends see a need and then try to fill it. When they see a hurt they do what they can to heal it. Without being asked, they jump in and help out.

2.  I understand you

People become closer and enjoy each other more when the other person accepts and understands them. Letting your spouse know – in so many  little ways – that you understand them, is one of the most powerful tools for healing your relationship. And this can apply to any relationship.

3.  I respect you

Respect is another way of showing love. Respect demonstrates that another person is a true equal.  If you talk to your children as if they were adults you will strengthen the bonds and become closer friends.  This applies to all interpersonal relationships.

4.  I miss you

Perhaps more marriages could be saved and strengthened if couples simply and sincerely said to each other “I miss you.”  This powerful affirmation tells partners they are wanted, needed, desired and loved.  Consider how important you would feel, if you received an unexpected phone call from your spouse / friend in the middle of your workday, just to say “I miss you.”

5.  Maybe you’re right

This phrase is very effective in diffusing an argument.  The implication when you say “maybe you’re right” is the humility of admitting, “Maybe I’m wrong”.  Let’s face it.  When you have an argument with someone, all you normally do is solidify the other person’s point of view. They, or you, will not likely change their position and you run the risk of seriously damaging the relationship between you.  Saying “maybe you’re right” can open the door to explore the subject more.  You may then have the opportunity to express your view in a way that is understandable to the other person.

6. Please forgive me

Many broken relationships could be restored and healed if people would admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. All of us are vulnerable to faults, foibles and failures. A man should never be ashamed to own up that he has been in the wrong, which is saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

7.   I thank you

Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the companionship of good, close friends are those who don’t take daily courtesies for granted. They are quick to thank their friends for their many expressions of kindness. On the other hand, people whose circle of friends is severely constricted often do not have the attitude of gratitude.

8.  Count on me

A friend is one who walks in when others walk out. Loyalty is an essential ingredient for true friendship.  It is the emotional glue that bonds people. Those that are rich in their relationships tend to be steady and true friends. When troubles come, a good friend is there indicating “you can count on me.”

9.   I’ll be there

If you have ever had to call a friend in the middle of the night, to take a sick child to hospital, or when your car has broken down some miles from home, you will know how good it feels to hear the phrase “I’ll be there.” Being there for another person is the greatest gift we can give. When we are truly present for other people, important things happen to them and us.  We are renewed in love and friendship. We are restored emotionally and spiritually. Being there is at the very core of civility.

Last but not least...

10.  I love you

Perhaps the most important three words that you can say. Telling someone that you truly love them satisfies a person’s deepest emotional needs- the need to belong, to feel appreciated and to be wanted. Your spouse, your children, your friends, and you, all need to hear those three little words: “I love you.”

This is Christmas week, an intense time of year for so many.  This Three Word article has inspired me to make a list of people to speak with in hopes of restoring and/or repairing relationships. Since writing the list I have started the conversations, and happy to say with joyous outcomes. 

In bringing this to muse to a close, I thank you for reading and please comment if you so desire. I hope this muse is taken in the spirit of sharing is caring, because this was the spirit in which it was written. 

I truly wish this Christmas will be a wonderful season for you. I hope you are inspired to have "that" conversation and that it can take place sooner than later. You never know this could be the best gift you ever give someone including yourself. 

The opposite of fear is love, moving towards love you find the joy. Love is not a simple thing, nor is it a small thing but it is the only thing that matters. 

May the joy, peace and love of the season be all around you and yours. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,


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Mary - January 23, 2016

I read your muse today, 1-23-16. A month late, but the words are so true, and wonderfully
written. Thank you for the thoughts. Happy new Year.

Regina - December 24, 2015

This is lovely . Thank you. Will remember the three words :o))))

Roxanne - December 24, 2015

Thank you for sharing these thoughts. As has been said, we need this all year round. I will practice and share. Merry Christmas and Happy new year.

Lorel - December 23, 2015

Very thoughtful. It is good advice all year long. It is a lack of relationship which makes this time of year so difficult for many.

Lloyd - December 23, 2015

This is something we all need to hear every once and a while. Thanks for sharing Bruce.
Merry Christmas and may 2016 be the best ever for you and your family.

Jean Weiss - December 23, 2015

A great article. It’s too bad we seem to only consider our relationships at Christmas. Bruce has reminded us to make them a priority every day.

Bonnie Gordon - December 23, 2015

I read every word Bruce, lovely, things I aspire to. All the best to you and yours, look forward to seeing you here in Ontario in 2016.

Lori Sager - December 23, 2015

Bruce, you really have put the true meaning of this joyous season into words……three, said differently each time..remind us that families and friends are our biggest gifts. Gifts to nurture..three small words at a time.

Thank you

Beverly - December 23, 2015

Wise words. Thank you for sharing your heart. I remember so fondly visiting your business when I came to PEI four or five years ago. Merry Christmas to you.

Angelina - December 23, 2015

What a beautiful letter. Its diffently something to ponder. More people need to take the time for face to face conversation.

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