We have a choice in relationships – be that with children, partners, friends, work colleagues or even encounters with strangers at the shops, to communicate something through the way we are, the way we move and the way we express. How often do we stop to feel what we are actually communicating by the way we are in relationships to other people, and as one such example: children, teenagers and young adults? Not in self-judgement but in an honesty to reflect on and ask ourselves, is this truly what I want to show, reflect or inspire that life, love and relationships are about?
As a child I developed an understanding of relationships by looking around at everyone and everything and registering all of the gestures, conversations, hellos, goodbyes, the facial expressions, the looks, the tone of voice and the body language – from this I could see a lot going on. I was watching and feeling my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends of the family and people in the local community.
What I almost always noticed, was that deep down there was a depth of love between people that was rarely expressed or lived, often when it was it was at high moments such as at a party, a wedding, a birthday or Christmas. The high moments that we can use to 'get by' in relationships, as opposed to a steadiness and consistency that provides a real fuel to move through challenges within, as a couple and a family in a way that builds and deepens with each day.
As a child, I rarely saw couples reaching out and touching each other with tenderness and care, for no other reason but to express the way someone felt about, or to another, or simply because they felt super joyful in their own body and couldn't contain the want to share that. I would see adults relate to their children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews with more sensitivity and tenderness but not often the adults with other adults. In fact this is rarely seen today.
I could feel that people more often kept their feelings to themselves but the suppression of these feelings would lead the way for a building of frustration, resentment and bitterness. I would see adults accepting things in their life that didn’t feel right and how they hardened to cope with this and almost to shut it down.
All of this today, we still see most commonly as a societal ‘norm’, only in addition to what was then, we now have a faster paced life with a high level of dependency upon technology and the many ways to seemingly connect with others online – an online world rife with bullying, trolling and a means to escape. With all of this together it appears to be that relationships within families, workplaces and the community at large have disintegrated to a far worse degree since I was a child, 30-ish years ago, our current high rates of divorce are just one marker of this.
Looking at the patterns that take place in our relationships couldn’t be more important. Rather than repeat what my parents have lived, my grandparents and even their grandparents, there is the opportunity to stop, be honest and actually assess what works and what doesn’t. It is worth asking ourselves why do we repeat things that clearly don't serve us in any way. It isn’t about perfection, it isn’t about judging ourselves – it is about being open to the fact that it can be different, that repeating ill patterns rather than supportive ones does not have to be an automatic pilot, go-to point. Re-visiting my observations from childhood about relationships has allowed me to begin to make the necessary changes and adjustments to communicate to my children and to everyone that:
This article was inspired by Serge Benhayon who recently presented a workshop on Expression and asked this question of me (and others) in a small group setting. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to express what I truly felt that day, my whole body thanked me.
Deeply Nurturing Blog
The Deeply Nurturing Blog serves as an online magazine, full of articles, interviews and stories relating to pre-conception, pregnancy, birth, caring for babies, transitions, raising children, relationships and women's health. By and about everyday women who are inspiring by their simple everyday choices in taking responsibility for their health and wellbeing.