How To Make Sure You Keep Your Relationships Alive
MAUDE: Relationships, all relationships, only thrive when you take the time to keep them alive, vital and present. Often, long term relationships with romantic partners, family or friends, get taken for granted, become background to the challenges and daily occurrences we all deal with in life. Often those that are most important get relegated to the past and fade into memories rather than shared experiences. The sacred gets lost.
The interaction between personalities is one of the most sacred acts you can participate in. There is a direct connection to the divine in the love shared between two who recognize this opportunity.
As you read this, Phil and I are on a trip to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday. We take this time every year to make a journey together away from our day to day lives. We are fortunate to be able to take this time together to celebrate. This is a great luxury, but even when we were both working and couldn’t step away, we incorporated sacred space into our shared days, and we still do every day we are together. We take a moment in passing to hug, or share a thought. We withdraw from outside input every evening and spend it together. These are not meant as suggestions to anyone, but as illustrations that awareness and appreciation of the preciousness of our relationships is alive and active in us.
And so it is with many of my relationships, that we work at consciously creating this sacred space together, these times of sharing and connection. It can be many things: regular phone conversations, sending photos, sharing our problems and victories, taking walks, writing emails, letters and texts, playing games together, sharing series, films and entertainment, discussing politics, comforting each other, helping one another through medical and life crises, visiting those who live at a distance, taking trips together, meeting for a meal, reading a book together on Facetime or phone, attending meetings together, sharing insights and practices. Reaching out and touching, sharing acknowledging, appreciating.
The methods vary, but what remains the same is a profound understanding, respect and a drive to nurture and maintain these deeply sacred connections.
Relationships only thrive when you take the time to keep them alive #relationships #quote Click To TweetThe pandemic created an awareness of the preciousness of our relationships in a whole new way, as we were deprived of much of our in-person experiences. People were creative and came up with many ways to come together in spite of these circumstances. We all became highly aware of the importance of relationships to our lives.
When this kind of awareness and commitment to foster our connections is missing in any relationship, it is keenly felt. The loss of such closeness is deep and significant.
Do not let this happen to your relationships. Do not become blinded to their heart and breath through familiarity, lack of consciousness, or looking far away and not seeing what is front of you! Create that sacred space and take the time and opportunity wherever it is available, while it is available!
PHIL: Our trip involves a steam train ride, a shared passion of ours. (To the Grand Canyon, no less!) Having interests in common with someone is a part of friendship. It is a way of feeling connected with someone. This is the stuff of personal ads – sunsets, beach walks, and so on. But things in common, whether trains or what groceries are needed, are only part of a relationship; the other half is how you feel about them, how you trust them, the sense you get from their presence. A relationship is both an emotional connection and a meeting of the minds, and both need contact in order to be sustained.
I understand solitude; I really do. I am an introvert and live in my head, but I have come to understand how that is only a part of being human, and I do everything I can to listen to the voice of my body, and I have also come to understand that as humans, we need relationships. We are social animals that need each other to survive; see the many TV series like “Alone,” or the role of social relationships in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Nudged by articles on the importance of social networks on health and longevity, I am coming to see friendships not as an optional dessert, but as part of the main dish.
There are many strains on our connections to each other: the aftermath of Covid-19, the fragmented media landscape, the decline of social gatherings like churches. If that is you, reach out. If that is not you, reach out to those disconnected people. This is how we can transcend divisions and experience the full power of being human.
Photo credit: Maude Mayes
Photo note: Steam locomotive
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