What we really mean, when we talk about relationships

There’s nothing in your life that you don’t have a relationship with. I’m not usually one to use double negatives, but in this case it feels necessary. As does clarifying that the word relationship isn’t reserved for people and things you like and love, or even those you personally know or encounter on a daily basis. Put plainly, anything you come into contact with on your life journey, in any shape or form, is a thing you have a relationship to, in varying degrees.

If we swap the term relationship and cut it right back to basics, what we’re really concerning ourselves with here is a series of connections. We are all prone and programmed to make these and whether we like it or not, they’re utterly unavoidable once something enters our stream of consciousness. When I speak about connections affecting us in varying degrees, I’m using these terms to illustrate that although all connections are indeed created equally, they clearly are not all experienced thus.

The easiest way to explain it is to use the concept of intimacy because, for so many people, the word relationship is interchangeable with the idea of closeness to another thing or person. You’ll hear folk say ‘I don’t have a relationship with him, I just bump into him now and again’ or ‘We’re not in a relationship, we’re just good friends.’ In these instances, what’s really being referred to is the degree to which we consciously experience our relationships.

To give an example; if you’ve never met your father it would be easy to say you have no relationship with him. It isn’t so easy to say you have no connection with him. The connection is simply different to someone whose doting father is present and available. This other person’s experience of their relationship – connection – takes up additional physical space in their life, in yours perhaps it is largely emotional and biological. It can however be equally as impactful. The relationship is still there, only different.

This is why in relationship healing, in deep analysis and pattern unravelling or deprogramming work, the physicality and history of the relationships you have are not the be-all and end-all. It’s why it’s equally possible to spend 2 hours dissecting a 30minute conversation you had with a stranger, as it is to spend those hours discussing a close relative.

If ever in doubt about the relationship you have with someone and the affect it truly has on your life, switch to the word connection and then break down your experience of it. It’s such an uncommon way to describe our interactions, that it’s immediately less loaded, it arrives with less internal judgement.

Break down every way and on every level you are connected to this person. Look at how your connection impacts your thoughts, your emotions, history and other relationships to people and the world. Don’t write-off avenues of exploration simply because you feel there’s not enough substance to begin with. From a film you’ve seen on TV to a real life event, it all matters, they are all connections. Acknowledging this will change your life forever.




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