Happy Relationship Day!
Only most people call it Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s is a nice tradition with lovely sentiments. and I’m certainly okay with that. My stance is that Valentine’s Day - or at least TV and media ads - seem to isolate it to romantic love. And love is so much wider, deeper, higher, greater, funner and a bunch of other fulfilling descriptive words.
A Course if Miracles states that anything that draws love from you is of Divine origin. Which gives me pause when the neighborhood feral cat beats up on my kitten and I have equal compassion for the scruffy castaway.
Dr. William Glasser suggests that love and belonging is a basic genetic need of every living creature. And that all human misery, with the exception of abject poverty, living under tyranny and debilitating disease, is the result of unhappy relationships.
My definition of relationship is the ability to relate to and to relate with another, even if another is an other. As in other color, other class, other personality, other belief, other opinion. Since all eight-plus billion of us others are on this Planet-Earth Spaceship together, we might as well get along. After all, we are more alike than we are different.
I teach a class entitled “Getting Along With Difficult People, Whether You Know One or Are One”. It can be quite humbling to recognize our contribution to a miserable, difficult relationship. I had a gentleman tell me, “After taking this class, I need to apologize to everyone I have ever met.”
The bottom line is, we are all flawed and fabulous, which renders each difficult and wonderful.
A little compassion oils the get-along gear.
Even if you can’t reason with the feral bully. (Cat that is) The disagreeable one is still one of us others. The disagreeable one still has infinite worth and value as a human being, created in God’s image, a work of art with a Designer label.
Relating to and with another is found in common ground as well as uncommon ground. Every one has a story. Be open to sharing yours and listening to theirs. Ask relationship building questions; not to grill but to understand the sameness and differences. How monotone life would be if we all sang the same note. It’s the cacophony that makes music.
Who do you love this relationship month? Make it easy on yourself by starting with you and expand out. Remember the holy instructions to “love yourself as your neighbor.” That’s a like-to-like descriptive statement; as you love you, you are freed to love others.
Regardless of any dark circumstances surrounding one’s conception and upbringing, I suggest the union has a holiness to it. The office is untarnished. The child is innocent and came from the original system of divine love.
Whether the home produces benevolent leaders or malevolent dictators, all of us share in the propagation of love, light and darkness. The human condition is a complicated mix of good and not so good. Climbing to a higher plane is all ‘Thanks Be To God’. Relationship Day is a good place to start.