Life Is About Relationships

“”Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming  gardeners who  make our souls blossom.” Unknown

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”    Albert Camus

Our lives are built around our relationships. We  need each other and we crave friends, family and support. On the other hand, we push family friends and people away. We are so quick to absorb the hurts we receive, from these same individuals. We all desire the best outcomes for ourselves. We yearn to have things  progress well from day to day. We might want a change of pace, but not in those relationship areas, unless they are falling apart.

I remember feeling contented when I lived near my family. I really didn’t make much effort to include those outside of the family. I thought of them as outsiders. They might be wonderful, but my life felt complete at the time. Of course reality entered and with job changes from the start, we moved away quickly from family. Suddenly friends began to take on a whole new meaning. I had to depend on friends for many items, especially as we began a family and it increased a few times.I recall being at a beach when my kids were practically babies, and I watched two families, obviously siblings, who were having such an awesome time. There was plenty of laughter, and the adults managed to wade in the water with their babies, while they talked and laughed. I kept glancing over, hoping they would notice and include me in their gathering. There were few people on the beach, as it was late in the day. Every now and again, one person would glance over at me, but they quickly turned their gaze back to their own group. The longing in my heart was almost unbearable.

I went home sad that day, pondering how we forget about people, who yearn for family or friends, or simple connections to others. I also felt ashamed at how many times I had probably been those people at the beach, ignoring others, while believing myself  to be so self contained. I stopped that attitude right away, and never refused a new friendship, no matter that I already had plenty of friendships. Kids and adults feel insecure and embarrassed. You have this sense of being out of touch with the world, like a traveler observing with binoculars.

For many years my friends were my family, and  they treated me as close to family as possible. My kids were content and happy. Our gatherings with friends were happy, engaging and fulfilling. My problem with it is that,  had I not experienced a life change with a relocation, and then followed by  an exclusion episode, I might never have realized the impact one can feel, when they are left on the outside looking in. You experience a vulnerability and a lack of love and pleasure. You find yourself floundering in another dimension,

We all require relationships. It might be why we argue and fight so much with the people we love. We fear losing them in one way or another, so we cling to them and at times smother them with our jealousy and possessiveness. We prefer exclusions so as to keep what we believe is ours, all to our self. If we review what perhaps triggers quarrels, with our spouse, it usually has to do with their lack of  attention towards us. They must accommodate jobs, other people and  other family members. It is difficult to share our spouse and kids with others. We believe they can’t love anyone more than us. Perhaps it is hard at first to share our grown kids with their spouses.

I am not necessarily trying to find the popular choice, as much as to touch upon the fact that we value love and attention so much that we go to great lengths to keep it viable and close. It is respectful to have such emotions, but I think we need to question why we find it difficult, to share. Even if we are unaware of it, we all have our limits to sharing because, “What is mine is mine” is our motto.

Most likely this explains why we keep our friends separate from each other. A good friend is hard to find, and we don’t want to lose them to a better friend. A friend should be a pal always, regardless of how many other people, enter either  of our lives. I lost a friendship one time due to the fact that she didn’t like a mutual friend. She stated I had to choose between them, because she questioned if I would talk about her, behind her back. I did not keep my friendship with her, but to this day, I have kept her secrets, because she was a good friend and I cared about her.

We are so needy regarding relationships, that we go to great extremes to keep them. We all do this and I am not criticizing. It is good to value bonds, and twice as good to maintain them. It might be important though, to refrain from constantly blocking others out. It is so easy to enter a function area, see friends sit down, and tune out others. Just maybe, amongst the crowd of people, there is another  person, searching for acceptance. if we can get over our exclusiveness, we might find another good friend.

Having many fiends does not diminish one’s love for them. I equate this to having children. There might still be those people who think if you have more than one or two kids, you can’t love them all the same. How pitiful for them. No matter how many kids one has, they are totally loved for who and what they are. Nothing lessens the love. Maybe people confuse the love with what they want from their kids, and which child can give this. Truth is,  in loving unconditionally, the connections remain intact, no matter what else around them changed.

We should have faith that we can make new friends, without damaging the old. We can feel close to new friends, without severing or lessening our old bonds. It is healthier to add to our circles,  because each new addition, brings its’ own flavor to the relationships. They also add support, not only to us, but to everyone they touch.

“The honest facts are, that I’ll never know all there is to know about you, just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either  approach our fellow human beings with suspicion, or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism, and a great deal of candor.”    Tom Hanks

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.”    William Arthur Ward

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