Every day you’re involved in a myriad of relationships. Some with humans: family, love, business, short-term with store clerks, and some with tangible objects that are like family: furniture you sit in, possessions you cherish, and cars you drive.
The interactions with humans mirror the feelings you have about yourself and the relationships with tangible objects, reinforce or at the very least, support an image you have of yourself.
What do the relationships around you tell you about yourself?
When I was a single woman, I surrounded myself with statues of men and women in an embrace because it was a symbol of what I wanted. These statues were lifeless and over time they got cracked, broken, and repaired because my home was small and chaotic.
From the outside, real relationships may appear perfect and without flaws, but there’s a calm chaos that exists within the best of relationships and if you look close enough, there are cracks, there has to be. To be in a truly great relationship there has to be some adaptation, change of habit, and breaking of old ways in order to fit back together in a new way. Real relationships, the ones that last, get small nick and cracks in them.
The longest relationship I’ve ever had, besides the family I was born into, was with my Honda Civic Del Sol. The twenty-year affair ended recently because, while it looked good from a distance, if you got too close you could see the imperfections: the driver’s side visor had fallen off, carpet pulled away from the side, there was a constant oil leak, dents and chipped paint littered the exterior.
My relationship with this car lasted so long because I took good care of it. Sometimes we don’t choose relationships, they choose us, but we get to choose how we care for them. Within your own relationships,
- if you remember not to take actions or words personally, it will be easier to stay objective and facilitate coming back together for discussion, learning, and healing.
- if you step up and apologize for your part in a disagreement, you’ll expedite communication and role model responsibility.
- if you communicate how you feel rather than dismiss it or gossip about it to someone else, you’ll allow others to express their feelings too and learn how to make difficult changes that will better the relationship.
I didn’t outgrow my car, it was a cherished friend I would have liked to keep forever because it was a symbol of my youth, a precursor to my freedom, and a witness to my rebellion, but I passed into another phase of life—I know that even if things look good from the outside, what really matters is how they work on the inside.
If you know that no matter how attractive someone else's appearance or relationship looks, it has cracks too, then you have a better chance of using the people and events around you as guides to what needs introspection and transformation within yourself. This is how the relationships you want to keep will become long-term, intimate, safe, supportive and fun!