Life is About Relationships
Each day you have the opportunity to interact with various individuals through different encounters. Whether for work or pleasure, a friend or family member, each of these people contribute to your life in some manner. Without relationships of any type, this world would be a place of boredom. It would not be sustainable, and we would constantly finding ourselves yearning for something more.
It is a good possibility that your family accounts for the first people with whom you held a covenantal relationship (parents might argue it’s contractual). It’s usually deeper and much more meaningful than other relationships you have. This is the core group of people through whom you rely on through thick and thin. There is in inherent and unconditional love that is irreplaceable. This relationship is initiated at birth, develops through care, and sustains with love.
There is another type of relationship that is found through the likes friendship and partnership. This bond is almost as important as the one with family, and often times the people within these relationships know more about one another than that person’s family. It is not uncommon to turn to these people before anyone else when asking for guidance, providing encouragement, or showing your true emotions. They begin with a hello or simple conversation, mature with shared experiences, and prosper with unfound trust.
At work, there is likely a team of people that you communicate with on a daily basis. These are the people whom through individual roles, work collectively towards an end result. It is imperative that the working, professional relationship with these people be developed through a shared mutuality, or else the challenges will be plentiful as you embark towards business success. In order to do this, the team must communicate effectively, acknowledge differences, and place personal self-interest to the side.
Perhaps your work requires you to communicate with customers. These customers and the relationships you have with them are vital to your success and the success of the company for whom you work. Without an established business relationship, it will be burdensome to establish a partnership based on trust, with intent to truly help and serve your customers’ needs. This type of relationship often begins with an introduction, grows through curiosity, and maintains through commitment.
Finally, there is another unique type of relationship. It’s the one that you don’t share with your family. No, your friends and partners can’t live up to it. The co-workers and clients aren’t it either. The truth is that it’s a relationship you must interact with and answer to every morning when you wake up, and every evening when you fall asleep.
It’s the relationship that you have with yourself.
The Relationship with Yourself
It’s you, and there isn’t a single individual in the entire planet that knows you as well as you know yourself. When you are feeling ill, you know it by the aches and pains. Hungry and your stomach growls. Your heart races when you feel excited or nervous. Although, it’s more than understanding your aches and pains. There’s much more to it than fueling your body with food.
To be honest, it’s more complex than that. There is even a chance that at times it will be more complex than trying to build and establish a relationship with friends, family or co-workers. When it’s a bad relationship, the world always seems to be crashing down on you. And when it’s good, there isn’t a thing that can happen to remove you from cloud nine.
Why is this relationship so important? More important than allowing you to be your true and authentic self, the relationship that you have with yourself is the lifeline to everyone else you interact with. If it’s not there, the other relationships will not exist in their fullest capacity. When it’s alive and doing well, it makes the walk through life an enlightening experience.
You were put on this earth to interact with others – to build into others and the community around you. If you fail to do this for yourself, first and foremost, then the road to creating other relationships will always seem an uphill battle with the top out of view. In order to build into yourself to keep the lifeline open to others, it is imperative to focus your efforts on all dimensions of your life that account for the unique relationship that only you have with yourself.
“This above all: To thine own self be true.” –William Shakespeare
Focus Dimensions of the Relationship with You
As you work to establish and build the ‘you relationship’, think about the wellness dimensions that you incorporate into your lifestyle. These dimensions are unique because they are only felt, expressed, and experienced by you. You may have a relationship with someone else that is centered on one, or a combination, but there is a small percentage that you share all of them.
When you think about the physical dimension, relate this to your health. Do you maintain your health, exercise regularly, and eat the right foods in the right quantities? Could you do a little bit more to increase your level of physical wellness? I often think of this dimension as the catalyst for how strong people are in other dimensions. I have found that if you are unhappy with your health and appearance, then it has the ability to easy pull you down in other areas. Improving this area begins with a simple step – quite literally a simple step.
As you approach your thought process and thinking skills, do you promote positive self-talk? Mentally your ability to control the way you think must not only be stable, but be strong-minded. A weak mental dimension of wellness attributes to giving into temptation, reverting to what you know is wrong, and makes it challenging to take the initial step in the right direction. Incorporate positivity into all that you do, and it makes the road seem to be a little more flat without as many bumps.
Does your life seem to be a roller coaster of emotions? One day you feel lower than a 200 foot underground mine. The following day you are soaring at 30,000 feet riding first class on a Trans-Atlantic flight. Once your place lands you get back in line to begin the ride all over again. This is not good for your body. Not only will it wear on you emotionally, but it will break you down mentally and physically.
In order to keep yourself on stable ground, it’s important to understand what it is that truly makes you happy. Does work have you on that roller coaster? Are you on that ride because of a bad marriage? Does a friendship have you heading down the wrong hill? If whatever it is doesn’t make you want to get back in line and ride again, then step off the damn ride. It will be difficult at first, but I promise you will feel better when you are not battling the inevitably, always changing level of emotions.
The ‘You Relationship’ Begins with a Look in the Mirror
These elements are crucial to a establishing the foundation for the ‘you relationship’. It’s easy to forget one or more of these, meanwhile still working to build relationships with others. If someone was contributing to your own life, would you want them to give you everything they can, or a third of what they are capable. It’s the same when you give of yourselves to others.
Don’t sell yourself short, or short-change your relationship with others. It begins by focusing on the basics and what is most important. It can be easy to make the relationship that you have with yourself complex, when in reality it is the simplest form of a relationship that you can have.
Only you can wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and then tell yourself, “I love the way I look, the manner in which I think, and the way I feel about myself”. More importantly, no one else can repeat these words, and then put them into action for you. Are you looking to build relationships in your professional career? Would it benefit you to have better friendships? Is there an advantage to having a lifelong partner that you contribute to being a better person and want the same in return?
Is something holding you back from being in the relationship you want and need? Whether it is work, your health, or lack of trust, you must find the root of it all and change it. And as you dig to find the root of your pain, know that you are in control of your destiny. Everything good that happens to you is a result of the way you carry yourself. It is the consequence for building into yourself, in order to build into others. After all, why wouldn’t you want to reach your destiny?
“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” –Abraham Lincoln