I was going to talk about friendship but then I realized that there are so many relationships and they all require the same thing. So I changed to relationships…whether it is spouses, boyfriend/girlfriend, friends, employer/employee, student/teacher, doctor/patient, etc. They are all relationships in one form or another and if you want them to be a real relationship, they require certain things and effort from you and from the one on the other side.
A relationship is something one must work at if we want it to succeed. Many people marry thinking that if it does not work, they can just divorce. They do not think about the fact that in order for a relationship to work, both parties must work at it, must give and take and must be willing to compromise. Leaving one broken relationship for another relationship seldom works because if you do not attempt to fix or settle the problems, you just carry them on to the next relationship and the next one.
image from www.mactoons.com
There are certain things that any good relationship requires if it is going to be good. I personally believe that a relationship requires honesty, authenticity, values, caring, compassion, understanding, loyalty, a willingness to listen and I mean listen to hear and not listen to reply, forgiveness, and acceptance. When you bring all that to the table, then the chances of maintaining a relationship are much better. This does not mean you will not fight or get mad at each other. It means you are willing to put forth the effort to work past the reason you got mad. It means being willing to sit and talk and not give up and run on to someone else or drop the relationship because it is too hard.
I am not talking about casual friends/acquaintances but people you really want to keep a long-term relationship with. I am not talking about abusive or toxic relationships either. I am talking about relationships that you have that are really good that you want to keep. I have people in my life that at times I thought the relationship was over but we persevered and talked and got it back on track. It takes work. And it takes both sides working at it. If you are in a one way relationship..even if it is a doctor/patient relationship get out of it. You want both sides committed and working.
We are in charge of our feelings and when we decide to do something that is negative to a relationship such as lie or steal or have an affair, etc…then we are choosing to break that relationship. I learned in my older than dirt danLrene wisdom garnered that life is choices. We either choose to work at relationships, to sit and talk to mend relationships, to bring to the table the things we want in a relationship or we choose to treat it as something that is disposable. I personally prefer treating a relationship as something of value and putting my effort in it. If I am going to invest the time, then I want it to be a good relationship whether it is friends, lovers, co-workers, boss/employee…whatever. I want it to be a good one. It does not mean I will not fail. It simply means that I put forth all I have to try to keep it from failing and then if it does, I can walk away and say I did all I could.
And the number one relationship that should be on your list after the one with our Creator if you are a person of faith…is the relationship you have with yourself. Are you your own best friend? Are you honest with yourself and kind to yourself? Do you love yourself? Do you give yourself time when you are out of sorts? Be as good to yourself as you want someone to be to you.
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