Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I have found myself discussing relationships lately. Several friends have raised issues, questions, uncertainties, and dilemmas stemming from what they struggle with in their efforts to define, sustain, and develop what they consider to be their “relationships.” In the vortex of all that society, family, friends, religion, and community offer as definitions and opinions… I tend to want to simplify. And, for me, the most simple place to start defining and understanding something is in the name given it. So I refer to “relationship”... that defining word applied to that thing that we so desperately want to get right.

Re-la-tion-ship/ noun:
1.The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.
2. Connection by blood or marriage; kinship.
3. A particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other.

Did you notice the repeated use of one word in each of these definitions? There is the presence of a “connection” in all three aspects of relationship mentioned. Telling us that a connection (a “being joined, fastened, or united together”) is integral to the existence of a relationship. Hence, I frequently terminate discussions about supposed relationships by pointing out the often obvious fact that there is no relationship to discuss; inasmuch as there is no "unity, fastening, or state of being joined" existing between the parties in question. “Cold!” you say... I say realistic. Call it what it is… or in those instances… is not. Why beat yourself up with the imposition of a set of expectations and requirements applied to a situation labeled “a relationship” when a simple and honest look at the facts evident would demonstrate the reality that the supposed relationship simply does not exist? The parties do not “relate” (“establish or demonstrate a connection between”) with each other.

Does “going out with”, or being “engaged to be married (betrothed)”, or even being “legally married” establish a relationship? (I can hear the “delete” buttons clicking already) I say "no!" Why do I say "no"? Because I pay attention. I see. I hear. I take note of the countless afore-labeled situations that demonstrate the glaring absence of any connectedness. “Two people walking alone… together” is the quote that applies to far too many who are going about (please pay attention here) DO-ing the stuff, the activities, the scripted performances expected of those in “relationships“… all the while, never BE-ing connected in a dynamic of relating to one another.

So, My Dear Reader, I humbly ask that you… today… in this moment that is ours… you reading what I am writing… stop worrying about how you can “work on your relationship.” Please, I beg of you, look first to the question of your having a relationship within which to “work.” Stop searching for what you can DO to improve something that must BEgin with BEing related… that is being connected (joined, fastened, united.) For, as those of you who are familiar with that old drum upon which I so often beat the cadence of my soul’s message know… this thing, known to us as life, is more about what we BE and far less about what we DO. Remember… we are human BEings not human DOings. So, let us first consider being related; being joined in purposeful and accommodatingly respectful union; being fastened together in an agreed upon oneness of purpose… and then, as life serves up its inevitable assortment of opportunities, we can do those things that are made easier… even pleasurable… in a healthy and joyful relationship.

And a note to those of us (myself certainly included) who catch ourselves all too often envying those about us who are in a relationship. Look again… more closely… and listen to a voice with the scar tissue of experience on its soul… when I ask you “Are they really joined together in a relationship with its fundamentally required unity, or are they "two people walking alone together?” And is anything more painful than being that kind of alone?

It all begins with BEing that particularly wonderful individual that you were specifically created to BE. BEgin there.

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