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You Need to Honor the Connection at the Heart of all Relationships

Pelicans at restPHIL: Language is an ax that divides the world. Take any word – tree, timidity, travel – and we can say what it does and doesn’t apply to. There will be fuzziness at the edges, but the effect is to categorize the world and cleave it into pieces. This is very powerful, and with it, humans have divided and conquered the world.

But this categorical way of seeing makes it hard for us to see something as both this and that. We find it difficult to think of the internet as both good and bad at the same time, or view change as both creative and destructive. Aristotle, the father of logic, cringes at these blasphemies of argumentation.

In particular, it makes it hard to simultaneously see something as both whole in itself and part of something larger. This applies to us as individuals. We see ourselves so much as a distinct entity that we overlook that we are part of larger groupings as well – a sports team, a family, a profession, a part of all humans.

And so it is in relationships, too. There is a thing, “the relationship,” that is not you and not the other person. It exists in some immaterial space, yet is tangible, even if hard to put into words. Yet its appearance should not be surprising. When you put a piano and hands together, you get music that does not appear from a piano alone or hands alone. Think synergy or emergent behavior, or the whole being greater than its parts.

You can have a sense of being yourself and being the relationship at the same time. In fact, remaining aware of both senses is important. Ignore the relationship, and you know where that leads. Yet ignoring yourself is not healthy, either. Too many people lose themselves in a codependent or subservient relationship.

We’re not just talking about personal relationships here, but every relationship you have, whether casual or close. Each of those has its own flavor, its own nuances. Look for them, enjoy them, appreciate them. These are the connections that are your part of being something larger.

The largest of all connections is to the cosmos, unity, God, life; pick the words that describe it best for you. Yet words, being the axes that they are, cannot encompass the whole. Set them aside and listen with your heart to the connection between you and unity.

MAUDE: The individual and the whole, the me and the us; these phrases describe the paradox of being complete as a separate person, yet part of a union, a oneness. To truly open to the ability to connect, we have to know ourselves and have developed our sense of self-esteem. This work frees us up to reach out and connect. We can stop being so busy with ourselves, and let go of the need to defend and protect that comes from the lack of being solidly grounded within ourselves.

The individual who feels whole within themselves is an individual who can realize their part in a bigger picture: a relationship, a community.

It is within such a relationship that there is the understanding of being on the same side, knowing that each of you always wants the best for each other, and understanding that this takes nothing away from you. This goes for every relationship you have, both intimate and superficial.

It is the same for your relationship to the community. We were watching a video with Caroline Myss in a Zoom group, and she substituted the phrase ‘life force’ for the word Love, as that which we are all part of and connected to. She asked an interesting question, “What are you going to contribute with the part of the life force that is you?”

As we feel whole within ourselves, we can participate in actualizing our individual potential within the whole. Each of us does this differently and each of us contributes uniquely toward that connectedness.

Bring joy and love into all your relationships. We can spread peace together, making it a reality, one relationship at a time!

Photo credit: Phil Mayes

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Successful Relationship Reading Corner


Books on shelfThis week, we blogged that you need to honor the connection at the heart of all relationships. Here are some other writers on different aspects of this discussion.

Connection: At the Heart of any Good Relationship "In my experience, for relationships to really work, connections have to exist and develop on multiple levels. The extent to which these connections deepen and mature over time is likely to have a big bearing on the level of fulfillment the parties experience within the relationship."

6 Heart-Centered Communication Tools to Strengthen Your Relationships "Communication is all about the heart. No matter how serious the conversation or the stakes involved, we want to connect, to understand, and be understood. A successful communication is so fulfilling because the separation between ourselves and the person we are speaking with softens or disappears entirely. We feel closer, more intimate, calmer, and less isolated. Who doesn’t want to communicate better?"

5 Tips to Recognize and Honor Your Needs in Relationships "We don’t learn to pay much attention to our needs, beyond the basics of food, water, and shelter. Television advertisements, popular culture, and the desires of others dictate our “needs.” But I’ll bet that, on a soul level, you don’t need a cooler car, a bigger ring, whiter teeth, or more parties. What do you need then? Answering this question can be one of the most powerful transformations of your life."

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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