There are so many kinds of relationships in our lives, and each are like threads in a magnificent tapestry woven together to create a masterpiece, unique and extraordinary to each person.
Relationships with others are the most important aspect in our life. Generally, as children, we watch and learn from those around us to see how to respond to friends and family; whether bonds are vital or not. These formative years are actually a great contributor to how our personality is formed, how we react to others, oftentimes our outlook on life, even sometimes how we respond to circumstances and even the ability to stay in a long term marriage can be traced to our knowledge of the what, how’s and why’s in a healthy and strong relationship. If it was not taught, it is something we must seek out to learn.
To begin, let’s look at a brief overview of some types of associations and their influence:
- Church/religious, professional, volunteer and community interactions have a significant impression, as they are often the base of relationships.
- Extended family relationships contribute in different aspects to our personality and character.
- Some relationships are very personal and the interaction is daily and the impact runs deep.
- Our first bonds are with our family, and then develop with peers and others outside the home.
- Relationships are core to all human beings existence. Regardless the nationality, race, gender or any other factor, people crave social interaction, even on a small level.
- Some relationships are strong and may only be connected a few times a year; it does not need constant feeding to be strong.
- Deep personal relationships are the most impactful in our life, because they directly correlate to our well being.
- Those who are isolated, alone and without strong bonds of friendship or family ties are most prone to depression. Research has even shown it can lead to emotional, physical and spiritual health problems.
- So with that said, we can understand that it is through others and our involvement that we change and grow.
- At the end of our life, it is our relationships that come into focus and are central to our happiness or misery. Most often what we wish we were more intentional about; in positive ways was developing and strengthening relationships.
Every person, of any age, wants to be accepted, loved and wanted; to feel they are important and have much to offer. Because of that very innate need, occasionally caution must be used to avoid abuse, or to make the choice of leaving situations that are unhealthy and damaging physically, emotionally or spiritually.
The very core of our associations with others, stems the quality of our inquisitive and openness to experiences and learning. Whatever the connection of our relationship, particularly as a developing child, that is how we generally will treat others in a close friendship or bond. So, if the source of the relationship is trustworthy, dependable and truthful – we will know how to respond to and be a giver and receiver of a healthy relationship.
Being a parent and raising a child, or as a spouse in a marriage, as a friend, a sibling, really in any type of relationship, there are key elements for a strong and thriving relationship and communication is central. Here are a few ideas to make it a positive experience:
Open Communication is effective and vital:
- When issues can be discussed without fear of harm of physical or emotional damage
- Conflicts can be resolved, even assertively, but without aggression of any type
- Each person is treated with respect and listened to
- Difference of opinion is listened to and given value – we are not meant to be the same, not to think the same
- Agency is honored. It is a God-given right of each person
- We can only change our self, we cannot change anyone else, and badgering, bullying or trying to force someone in a discussion or fight is wrong
- Relationships that are healthy and should be maintained, please remember to be a peace-maker
- It is not always the best to be ‘right’. Sometimes it is best to agree to disagree.
- If a relationship is unhealthy and drawing you away from God, from doing what is good, moral, ethical and honorable, it is time to pray about cutting the ties and moving on. Do not hate, or waste emotion on trying to destroy another. Forgive, do not drag old hurts and issues into new relationships (get professional help if needed), but simply move on and become a better person.
We need each other. We must build, lift, edify, strengthen and help each other to become the very best we each can be. That is our quest in relationships here at A Mother’s Shadow. As this series continues I will address the different aspects of those we interact with, the bonds we hope to keep strong and how to deal with difficult issues. Life is all about relationships, but our greatest and most important one, is that with our Father in heaven. It is never too late to start it up again, and we must hold on to it with all our energy strength and might.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015
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