Relationships. They truly are the fabric of our lives. Everywhere I turn, they are at the heart of the conversation.
I hear myself addressing the tone in our teenagers voices, in terms of how the way we speak to each other affects the quality of our relationships. I observe how conversations with a friend who is in turmoil over a breakup centers around where the fabric of their relationship began to fray.
So many conversations I have had this year have been with people who love the nature of their work, but are miserable in their jobs because of the dysfunction in key relationships. What strikes me is that in each of these conversations, there are underlying issues with the way that the people involved are relating to themselves.
Tending to the health and well being of relationships takes time, attention, and energy. And, perhaps most essentially, tools and skills that many of us did not learn in our homes or other environments as we grew up.
Think about it for a moment.
Did the primary relationships of your family and close friends growing up reflect the qualities that you truly desire to experience in your relationships today?
Did the people in your life speak and act in ways that modeled how to truly navigate feelings, negotiate needs, and address differences of perspective on core issues to support intimacy and fulfillment?
What about the shows you watched and books you read?
I know that mine did not. As a result, as I approached adulthood, I was adamant that I would not get married or have children because I did not experience models of marriage and family that were appealing or instructive.
I have found that life has a way of edging us into the situations that will provide the context for us to evolve. In my mid 20’s I lived with the Vasquez family in Ecuador for a summer. This was the first household I had spent time in where the wife and husband had a connection and shared a relationship with their fledgling children. This experience began to soften my position on the idea of marriage and family. So much that within 3 years of that experience I was married and had my first daughter.
It wasn’t long before I realized that, although I had seen a model that seemed desirable, the models that I would emulate by default were the ones I experienced growing up.
When our daughters were toddling, I realized I did not have the tools and skills to create the kind of relationship I now felt was possible.
So I began to seek out knowledge and strategies to learn how to cultivate the quality of relationship I desired to experience and model for our girls. It has been a long and winding road (both externally and internally) and I have learned a ton.
This Celestial Cycle, I offer a series of self-inquiries to explore relationships with respect to Work, Self, and Family.
If you are interested in joining us in this process, please click here to add yourself to this particular email list. You will receive the practices in your inbox on the New Moon, Waxing Half Moon, Full Moon, and Waning Half Moon.