A Kernel of Fact about Relationships

{” It’s everything about relationships!” proclaimed my daddy during our current holiday visit with my parents. Santa Claus coffee cup in one hand and a wagging finger toward my other half, Elizabeth, with the other. “When you retire, that’s exactly what you realize is crucial in life” (all right, so that’s not him in the picture).|Santa Claus coffee cup in one hand and a wagging finger toward my other half, Elizabeth, with the other. “When you retire, that’s exactly what you realize is most important in life” (all right, so that’s not him in the picture).}

Father just recently retired from 30+ years as an orthopedic cosmetic surgeon and the significant shift in way of life appears to have produced a substantial shift in his outlook on life. For me, his statement about relationships ended up being much more comprehensive and more extensive than I believed such {a basic and sensible |a sensible and basic} statement could ever become.

{At first appearance, it makes good sense that relationships are important to our lives. Whether it is friendship, dating, {marriage, family or community|marriage, community or family|family, marriage or community|family, community or marriage|community, marriage or family|community, family or marriage}, relationships with others belong of our everyday life. They offer us belonging, significance, {companionship, intimacy and love|companionship, love and intimacy|intimacy, companionship and love|intimacy, love and companionship|love, companionship and intimacy|love, intimacy and companionship}. {But, pulling back from this view and taking a broad glimpse at the topic I recognized that relationships are more than just significant interactions with individuals.|Pulling back from this view and taking a broad glimpse at the topic I recognized that relationships are more than just significant interactions with individuals.} When we “relate” or interact with something we are, in fact, in relationship with it. {For instance, our relationship with work, our relationship with ourselves, our relationship with our health and our relationship with our spirituality.|Our relationship with work, our relationship with ourselves, our relationship with our health and our relationship with our spirituality.} By specifying relationships from this more comprehensive perspective, our relationship list becomes almost endless.|Whether it is friendship, dating, {marriage, family or community|marriage, community or family|family, marriage or community|family, community or marriage|community, marriage or family|community, family or marriage}, relationships with others are a part of our everyday life. Our relationship with work, our relationship with ourselves, our relationship with our health and our relationship with our spirituality. By specifying relationships from this more comprehensive perspective, our relationship list becomes almost endless.}

{You see, when we take a look at our relationships, we take a look at our interaction with every part of our lives; individuals, {locations, things, and events|locations, events, and things|things, locations, and events|things, events, and locations|events, locations, and things|events, things, and locations}. {So, exactly what is our relationship to our work, ourselves, our environment, our health, our spirituality?|Exactly what is our relationship to our work, ourselves, our environment, our health, our spirituality?} How do we associate with these things? Or, even better, if it is “everything about relationships” how are our crucial relationships?|You see, when we look at our relationships, we look at our interaction with every part of our lives; individuals, {locations, things, and events|locations, events, and things|things, locations, and events|things, events, and locations|events, locations, and things|events, things, and locations}. Or, much better yet, if it is “all about relationships” how are our most important relationships?}

Originating from the psychotherapy world, I frequently assisted {couples, households and individuals|couples, individuals and households|households, couples and individuals|households, individuals and couples|individuals, couples and households|individuals, households and couples} enhance personal relationships by resolving a series of 5 questions. {When I expanded my definition of relationships, I found that these questions are applicable to all kinds of relationships.|I found that these questions are appropriate to all types of relationships once I expanded my definition of relationships.} The questions go something like this:

1. What relationships do you worth most?

Be clear about exactly what you worth and which relationships are truly priorities to you.

2. Why do you value them?

Understanding the worth these relationships have for you underscores the value of the relationship and clarifies why a relationship “feels” important.

3. How do you nourish each relationship?

Now that you’ve determined how and why a relationship is essential, you need to specify exactly what it is that you do to keep that relationship alive and growing.

4. How do you keep your dedication through the difficult times?

{Are the divorce stats truly any different from the number of other relationships that end in our own lives (i.e., dropping the diet, “forgetting” workout, leaving job after job, putting personal goals and dreams on hold, getting around to the God/spiritual thing when you have more time, etc)? These relationships may not always be a marital relationship however like a marital relationship these relationships have their challenging times. Similar to a marital relationship, we need to overcome the difficult times in our other relationships instead of set them aside till a much better time or just plain hope the battles go away. This is frequently the point at which my training customers seek my support.|These relationships may not always be a marital relationship however like a marital relationship these relationships have their challenging times. Comparable to a marital relationship, we need to work through the difficult times in our other relationships rather than set them aside till a much better time or just plain hope the battles go away.}

You will undoubtedly discover that nurturing these relationships is frequently like a balancing act. {Though, once we determine the key relationships in our lives and start relating with them instead of leaving them on our “To Do” list, we will quickly discover that balance in life is an attainable goal which, in fact, life truly is everything about relationships.|When we determine the key relationships in our lives and start relating with them rather than leaving them on our “To Do” list, we will quickly discover that balance in life is an attainable goal and that, in fact, life truly is all about relationships.}

Our relationship with work, our relationship with ourselves, our relationship with our health and our relationship with our spirituality. By specifying relationships from this more comprehensive perspective, our relationship list becomes almost endless.

When I expanded my definition of relationships, I found that these questions are appropriate to all types of relationships. These relationships may not always be a marital relationship however like a marital relationship these relationships have their challenging times. Comparable to a marital relationship, we need to work through the difficult times in our other relationships rather than set them aside till a much better time or just plain hope the battles go away.

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