February 14th, 2011
Valentines Day is traditionally a time for sweethearts and special someones, a time to express our affections to those that mean a lot to us. So over the course of our lifetimes, how many relationships have each of us entered into and exited from; not just romantic liaisons but friendships, associates or acquaintances? Each one bringing with it an individuals perceptions, expectations and motivations that have developed over the course of that persons life. For whatever the reason, at a certain time and at a certain place two people are drawn to one another and a history begins to build between them. However, in many instances it later breaks down and dissolves over time.
Humanity seems to embrace the idea ‘what I have right now is not as good as what I could have in the future’. This seems to stem from a lack of contentment or perhaps understanding. I also believe people are drawn to situations that are comfortable, even if they are not desirable.
So much of our lives encompass relationships; with parents, children, siblings, co-workers, spouses etc. If it were possible to ‘get it right’ from the beginning; realize how valuable and unique each person is, how valuable we ourselves are and set the boundaries necessary for healthy and whole interaction, this world would be a considerably different place.
The financial ramifications alone would have a huge impact. Think of the lost momentum of a family that endures divorce… parents and children separated, home and savings divided, never to be what it once was. Or people in business transactions, whether in the ‘business world’ or the ‘buddy world’ that have been undermined by trusting those they willingly placed their money with and regrettably never recoup it.
It may sound old-fashioned, but envision a society where parents stay together because they respect themselves and each other and teach their children integrity, honesty and boundaries. Imagine living in community with each other, having the others best interests at heart because that means it is beneficial for everyone. Envision a community where each person is accountable for what is said and done. Where words are honored and promises are kept. This imaginary place is not perfect because none of us are perfect, but the atmosphere is genuine and people’s motives are pure.
Think about all the relationships you have embraced. What were the reasons certain ones did not last? How can you make the remaining ones stronger? Or if they keep your life in bondage, how can you set your boundaries and disengage from them?
ten simple questions…
1. Do I love, value and respect myself?
2. Do I know what I stand for?
3. Do I set boundaries and say ‘no’ when I need to?
4. What attracted me to this relationship?
5. Are these reasons still relevant?
6. Do I value and respect this person?
7. Do they value and respect me?
8. Do I know what they stand for?
9. Can I be true to myself when I am with them?
10. Has the interaction between us deepened?
Life can be lonely and empty at times, but reaching out to the people that have meaning in our life can make all the difference. Reaching out to those that are lonely and empty can make an even bigger difference. Take time really getting to know those dear to you by spending time in each others company, connect without distractions and truly engage in what is being said.
At the end of our lives it will be all those special memories created with those closest to us that will endure; that will touch our heart and fill us with contentment. Share with them why they mean so much to you and know that being vulnerable in the right circumstances grows a deeper relationship.
With that I will wish you a happy valentines day…xo