All of us have been taught how to be skilled in our profession, yet for the most part we haven’t perfected the most important art – the one for which we were all created – that is how to really connect in love with others. In essence we are all creatures of relationship and we need to be and to assert our real selves with conviction. Resorting to learnt patterns of speaking will cut short the possibility of life-giving growth for both parties. To continue our learnt relational games will leave us more and more superficial as we age.
We are needing to get to the point where we’re able to be ourselves whoever we are with. The way we are should not depend on the way others are. This will involve taking a risk to stand in our unique internal power. The holding of our truth may be denied us by the other or we may be unheard in what we are expressing. This may cause us to withdraw or to be aggressive as we sense we’re being put on the back foot relationally. We all dislike this uncomfortable space but need to learn to stand firm in our truth without being intimidated. We all know what not being seen and what conditional acceptance has done to us and remember vividly how we struggled to try to do whatever acceptance would take – whether it was to be even more productive, look better, or please more.
In every interaction, however brief or long-term, we are either nurturing and giving each other life or we are taking it. The quality of each connection is therefore profoundly important for if we’re seen we can become but if we aren’t loved we shrivel up inside. True relationship can only happen between two equals. If we are either being looked down on or looked up to we will miss the rich possibilities of those interactions. We will need to befriend others to whom we can express and have acknowledged our true feelings. If we don’t do this we’ll fear that something is wrong with us since we hold feelings that are not seen.
All of us have been given emotional capital by our parents and others who loved us. Now we need to stop living on it for ourselves alone and start to invest it and grow it with others. Our relationships are our most important life work so we should take each of them very seriously. God has given us the task of loving each other into life and we need to do it with the utmost respect, reverence and enjoyment.