How do we Relate?
I was reminded recently of a FB post I wrote in 2014. Of course it’s still true.
Dear Friend, If you only tell me bad stuff about your spouse and the only thing you share with me are your complaints about your relationship, why are you MAD at me for thinking you married a jerk???
I’ve been guilty of it. I’ve shamefully tried to defend my partner as a “good guy” to a friend who thought ill of him because of the negative venting I had done. So I’ve learned to limit that kind of venting to those who are closer to me, who also have a more broad/complete picture of the many aspects of our relationship. Even now, it makes me wonder how easily we do it and how we might downplay the good stuff because it sounds like bragging. Yet there are those who brag away (I find them nauseating which I guess explains me LOL) and say nothing of what might be considered the bad stuff.
There are several people in my life who I don’t brag about enough. And by that I really mean, I don’t tell them how awesome they are or how/what I admire about them with better frequency. It seems so easy to take folks for granted when they are always there for us. I’m also including those people who we may not be that close to but whose very existence has benefited us in significant ways. I thought today about a colleague I had years ago who I could go to for advice and assistance for complicated matters in the workplace. I’m sure I told her a few times that I appreciated her helpfulness. As I think back, I realize she is somewhat a standard I compare to others in similar job situations. Though her political views would likely make it difficult for us to have a deeper personal connection today, her dedication and integrity, in those days, gave me roots of stability in an environment that could be aggressive and hostile. Yeah – I like that feeling.
Similarly, there are people in my personal life that keep me rooted – recurring characters/players in this ongoing journey who have a positive impact on me just for being them. Some of them have starring roles, others have a line here or there and still others are supporting me in the background somewhere behind the scenes. This includes the wee lizard that shared my office with me today. He left before I could tell him I had named him, Poochy. But for the short time he was there, I felt like the thing in life that was much bigger than me wanted to share this space with me. It pushed me to look beyond the small room I was in and suggested a time to contemplate what all in creation I had let slip my mind. Thank you, Poochy.
So I challenge us to consider what else is inside the bubble we have claimed as our personal realm – what else is inside those boundaries we protect that cling to our identities and shape the ways we are able to express ourselves; to be settled within ourselves; to un-obstruct our very breath. And then let’s consider how we might go about showing appreciation for those/that/them.