Hi I’m Dr. Chris. Sometimes I get overwhelmed when I think about all the self-improvement changes I want to make. It helps me to surround myself with everyday objects that gently remind me of, and return me to, the pathway of living my best life. One of these unlikely reminders is the salt shaker. Give me a minute to explain.

The life-changing habits that matter the most are those that affect my love life, specifically, the way I love my life and everyone in it. From the beginning of time to life everlasting my relationships (future and past) shape how I hope, heal and feel about life.   

I want (I need) better relationships, the kind that call my attention to God’s purpose and promise for me. Of course I have different types of friendships. Some go deep and wide. Some lay more on the surface at work, next door, or online, hoping for more. What’s the secret to “more?” I’ve been researching this as a scientist, a therapist, minister, and an author of a few relationship psychology books. And to my surprise, one element shows up in every walk of my life: Salt. Seriously? Salt? Now I’ll explain how salt reminds me to build better relationships.

Most of us are in the habit of using a lot of salt. As a former chemist, I know Na+Cl- is one of the most common compounds in the world. As an integrative therapist, I appreciate our heart’s physical dependence on it to beat and our emotional salty tears we weep.

I love to cook with different types of salt. Salt is why I surrender to crispy French Fries and chocolate caramels. We are encouraged and discouraged to eat more, eat less, and watch our salt intake! On a spiritual level, it preserves and serves life, frequently used in the Bible to illustrate character and holiness.

Salt is the result of basic principles of attraction. Lots of elements are attracted to each other but Sodium and Chloride have the strongest type of chemical bond, defined by actually sharing their molecules with each other.  They don’t merely bump up against each other like the molecules in water. So they are stronger together than apart. They don’t easily melt down or boil over. They can take a lot of pressure without breaking up. 

What is it about this simple habit of using (craving) salt that we can learn from? When something is so prevalent I look for the correlation to big life lessons. What salt illustrates for me is not how it’s used but how it’s created.

Everything in this world, including a relationship, is stronger when we give part of our self, the heart and soul of our self.   

When you pick up the salt shaker, be reminded of what you crave in relationships: stability, the ability to survive pressure, and the addition of great flavor. Do more than bump into each other. Savor the true give-and-take of the relationships your heart depends on.