Relationships

No one and nothing exist in isolation

Think of an avocado that you buy from a supermarket. You will be amazed at realising that it is impossible to count the number of people who are involved in enabling you to eat it in the comfort of your own home. It is equally unmanageable to define the complex ways in which we are related with others on this planet. Moreover, isn’t it also amazing to think that the soil in South Africa, for instance, that has become part of the avocado you eat, in its turn has become part of your body? We are intrinsically related not only to other human beings, but also to the very soil that we walk upon, to the air that we breathe, yes, to the whole universe.

Let’s give a focus to our reflection here – human relationships. Usually the most joyful moments are lived in relationships. Whenever we experience anything significant in our lives, we want to share it with others. Relationships bring lots of joy, strength and fulfilment.  Yet, relationships are messy. They are open-ended. They can be unsettling. No relationship escapes the complexity sincethere are two beings that are complex in action. The complexity is down to a number of reasons.

A movie or a book is exciting if the ending is not yet known – twists and turns are usually part of the story. Likewise, we love relationships when we enjoy moments of ‘pleasant surprises’. Paradoxically though, we love to ‘settle down’ in relationships because the uncertainty might be too stressful to live with. Besides, in relationships everyone experiences surprises that are not so pleasant. How many times we hear people saying, ‘he was not like this when I met him’ (by the way, use of a particular gender is not deliberate here… aha?).

Nothing is ever repeated in any relationship at any moment because everything is co-creational. Let us simplify these mouthful terms. For instance, I experience a friend of mine in a particular way, but another person’s experience is not the same as mine. So is it me or is it us? There is a space created by two individuals in every relationship and that is never the same as any other relational space at any point in time.  The maturity in a relationship is a journey and difficulties in co-creating that space are natural, and to a large extent – inevitable.

You may be at a particular juncture where you are looking for that right note to strike in the music sheet of your relationships. A therapeutic space might be very useful to look at the emotional baggage of your past, at the behavioural patterns, at the coping mechanisms. Feeling understood by someone of the pains that you have been through will allow you to heal, to grow in greater self-awareness and strength, to make more conscious choices, to stand up for yourself and to enjoy every little moment of your relationships.