Everything is in relationship to everything else. The words you see here exist in relationship to each other, to the white background we call the page, and to you, the reader. Likewise”I” only exist in relationship to my world and in my relationship to others.
Whether we like it or not, our sense of who we are generates out of our relationships with our world so that the skill of being in relationships lies in our ability to choose those relationships which are healthy for us, and to let go of those that are not. This of course raises the question of what is healthy.
One way of conceptualizing health is in terms of the ideas of growth and evolution, as contrasted with decay and stagnation. The ability to discover who you are, what you really think, feel, and believe is a fundamental requirement for growth and evolution and by my definition, the hallmark of a healthy relationship. A relationship that stifles creativity, limits free expression and imposes strict limits on what can be expressed is therefore, unhealthy.
So if I am correct in saying that healthy relationships promote growth and evolution and it is our responsibility to develop and maintain these relationships, then this task would seem straightforward enough. But it is not.
In fact I would argue that most of us do not know what a healthy relationship even looks like. And while there are many many reasons as to why this is the case, the most glaring reason I see is that we do not know how to have a healthy relationship with our own self. This issue, which I will also expand upon in subsequent articles touches the very cornerstone of healthy relationships.
If it is true that my relationship with myself is not healthy and your relationship with yourself is not healthy, then how can “we” have a healthy relationship. Clearly, under these conditions, we cannot. And if we have children then we cannot have a healthy relationship with them and inevitably, they will learn, to have an unhealthy relationship with themselves, and with each other. And so it goes, round and round.
The articles I will be providing in the future will take a much closer look at the many, many complexities involved in this topic and will hopefully provide some clear directions on what if takes to have healthy relationships. I would welcome any responses you might have on the topic and hopefully we can generate a lively and informative discussion on what I believe is a crucially important topic for all of us during these times.