Our relationships can be the source of enormous joy.
The unconditional love of a spouse or partner reminds us we’re safe and protected.
The care and concern of a dear friend showers us with peace knowing we’re loved and loveable.
Relationships can also produce grief and turmoil.
Anger pricks when we’re deeply hurt by another’s unkind words.
Resentments stab as we wonder how someone can be so uncaring toward us.
Hence our relationships are both the source of pleasure, yet the breeding ground for ire and bitterness.
Maybe this contradiction is vital, even necessary, since this is how we grow: through the ups and downs of relationships. Relationships are our training ground, life’s internship, that help us learn to give and receive love unconditionally. They help us discover who we are revealing who we do not want to become.
Wholesome relationships guide us toward a deeper understanding of ourselves, revealing the love that dwells within. Embracing the happiness that comes from balanced, carefree, and life-giving relationships is a fundamental part of becoming fully human, of accepting that at our core we are made to love and be loved because we are love.
Tough relationships invite us to acquire greater virtues like patience, compassion, tenderness, tolerance and mercy, allowing us to emanate deeper respect for others and ourselves. Seeking and finding the deeper understanding nurtured by these virtues helps us mature and ripen with wisdom.
Our relationships may be marked with chaos at times, but if we’re open to growth, willing to take time to listen to our souls, we come to discover the divine order making its presence known within, through, and around us.
Who in my life currently mirrors back to me the love that dwells within?
How do my messy relationships invite me to develop and grow?
How does this self-knowledge point me toward wisdom, toward inner freedom?