Life is about relationships. Everything is a relationship between yourself and something else. We are dependent on and in relationship to air, food, water, and many essentials that keep us alive. I cannot experience myself except in relationship to another or life itself.
By nature, you are dependent on relationships for survival, feedback, mirroring and nurturing. Mom’s nurturing, real and symbolic, are the essential survival mechanisms from which we grow, without which we would die. We are always in relationship with others.
Relationships are about engaging with the newness, the mystery, and differences of others – that’s the opportunity – the learning, the process, how one can change in a positive way. The beauty of relating to other people, animals, plants, minerals, and myriad and endless life forms, adds so much to life. Curiosity, desire, and growth drive us to explore that which is beyond ourselves.
Relationships include pleasure and pain. Hopefully the pleasure outweighs the pain, but at times the pain outweighs the pleasure. Growth requires pain, though less pain if one surrenders to the process and accepts changes that are necessary to grow. Growth requires risk, and letting go of one’s sense of stability. Relationships require adapting to different worlds while maintaining one’s own. Finding and creating that mix is the process that helps you develop in relationship.
Change is natural. All of us are required to develop beyond the familiar, to aim for or allow experiences that expand and deepen us. Our daily world can be ever enriched by what we gain from relationships. One can learn on one’s own, but much of our experience and satisfaction traces how others influence and affect us. Relationships thrive on more than immediate behaviors. Consistent qualities of relating such as respect, attention, caring, compassion, kindness, commitment and strength, are every bit as important as actions.
It’s important to approach relationship with qualities that are enriching. What are the qualities that are important or natural for you? Which qualities do you offer? What is missing in you and needs to be developed? What qualities do you want others to approach you with? Respect is an essential quality to develop with which to approach your communication. Respect is felt. If you respect differences and communicate from that, whatever you do or say will have more value and will be respected.
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