How Recognizing and Celebrating Uniqueness Helps Your Relationships

How Recognizing and Celebrating Uniqueness Helps Your Relationships

Next week, we’ll be talking about how to handle differences in relationships, but before that, let’s look at the quality of uniqueness itself. When you’re not clear about it, you may try to deal with what arises by resisting it. It is still common, after all, to look for sameness and agreement.

Yet, understanding this quality of uniqueness holds a key for peaceful relating. There is only one of each person. There are patterns and there are kindred elements, yet you are each one of a kind. That means that each of you has contributions and insights and ways of being to offer that can only come from you, and the same for each other person.

What a field of riches this can be. It is, of course, also a real challenge. As humans, you react defensively to otherness. It’s a survival response, built in over the course of evolution. It is only as you develop higher and deeper ways of relating that you are less controlled by this instinct.

It is in your close and intimate relationships that you have the best chance to explore and learn from this uniqueness. The trust created through experiences of honest sharing, allows you a different perspective on the viewpoint, ideas, and actions of this otherness you encounter.

To be sure, that old response of defensiveness to difference will pop up again and again. See it as an opportunity to look at yourself and divest old vestigial responses that no longer serve a purpose.

The fruitful behavior is to welcome new input on how a person, especially someone with whom you share core values, finds paths for handling situations and events that vary from your own. All the more possibilities for your life! Here is a little excerpt from something Maude wrote on this very experience:

I was amazed by this experience as the relationship between Phil and I grew. Our values were deeply aligned and yet our way of expressing them was often quite different. I found this profoundly enriching. Here was an opportunity to see how the very same meanings and values could be differently enacted in the world. This greatly expanded my world view and understanding of what is possible. Understanding core values and at the same time realizing that they will be expressed differently by each person even if they match deeply, is a key to a peaceful conflict-free relationship. You can celebrate this variety in how they are enacted by your partner, and be enriched by their unique way of bringing your values to realization. What a gift!

It becomes a path toward peace as you look with openness and wonder on the precious uniqueness of each other. Instead of defensiveness and distance, this approach brings you more color, more choices and more laughter!

Photo credit: Gail Brenner
Photo note: Maasai Mara National Reserve

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4 Comments on “How Recognizing and Celebrating Uniqueness Helps Your Relationships

  1. This is very pertinent right, now as my sister is beginning the transition to assisted living due to increasing serious health issues, working with family members and looking at my own life, how I need to stay healthy and happy, thanks

  2. It’s liberating to realize that acceptance fulfills God’s requirement [to love others as ourselves] far more effectively than trying to make others what you want them to be. I know from experience that unconditional love comes from God.

  3. Dear Maude and Phil,
    Thank you for your beautiful blog and newsletter on your journey through life, as you embraced the precious uniqueness of each other. Instead of being defensive or distant, you emphasize opening our hearts with wonder and curiosity. This approach will bring more color, more choices, and more laughter into our lives.
    When you truly see and appreciate the beauty in others, it becomes a path toward peace. Instead of focusing on differences or conflicts, we can find common ground and understanding. By looking beyond surface appearances and seeking to understand each other’s motivations and viewpoints, we can build bridges of love and friendship.
    Love is the greatest thing in the universe, and God is love.
    When we love our fellow human beings, we discover their true values and worth.
    Through being patient and kind we seek to bring out the best in each other.
    Thank you very much, for your encouragement to embrace the uniqueness of each other. Let us love one another, and let us journey together towards a more peaceful and joyful world.
    Much love and gratitude

  4. Love seeing the zebra! And there is so much wisdom here…you two are awesome!
    Maude comment: Gail took the photo of the Zebra on a safari in Africa!

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