That one word can bring us warm good feelings or send us running and screaming in the opposite direction. Unless you’re a hermit up in the hills, you can’t escape it, relationships are all around us. From the moment we’re born we’re in one; the parent-child relationship, which then flows like a river into several others, the sibling relationship, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. These are the biological relationships that are decided for you, good or bad these are the first steps of careful navigation.
Friends, acquaintances, co-workers these are the ones we get to choose, in the early days, our parents may choose our friends/playmates. As we grow older we have more say so in whom we let enter into our lives. For some, it’s the “family” we thankfully get to choose.
Now this being said, all these relationships can add or detract from what we hold of value in our lives. Each relationship is unique although you can certainly see similarities from one to another. A friend can remind you of a cousin, grandparents can be strict version of your own parents or the total opposite, by spoiling you rotten when you’re a kid.
No matter which one it is, they all go through its ups and downs. It goes through changes, some that are barely noticeable, some that are so dramatic you wonder how your life isn’t nominated for an Oscar or Emmy each year.
Just like the seasons, our relationships go through much needed phases. It is up to us to decide if will survive through each season; will it survive the “harsh winter”, the bad times, and blossom again in the “spring”? If we don’t adjust to these changes, allow each of the parties involved to grow, express themselves, it will wither like a flower with no sunlight. How many people do you know that are stuck in a rut, be it a parent & child, always at odds, never willing to hear the other out for fear of losing control? How many siblings hold on to the rivalries and disagreements of our youth? How many grandparents find it so difficult to let go and see their grandchildren as adults with opinions that no longer agree whole-heartedly with everything they say? Do we even begin to ask about the spouses who can’t see past the “person you were when we got married” or are still trying to “mold” them into the perfect spouse to the detriment of the marriage?
As much as we want to be recognized for who we are, we need to also recognize who and why we continue to let people into our lives and to what level we allow their behavior to affect us.