Choose to Relate

 

Choose to Relate

 

We’re all bound to each other, interconnected in one way or the other. We look for a sense of belongingness in our relationships, a place to call home. These connections, which we begin to form right from the moment of inception and for the rest of our lives, are imperative for our survival as well as for a sense of aliveness.

Human beings are social animals who need the bonding of family and community to thrive and survive. Yet, we often live as if we need no one but ourselves. Relationships today are in serious trouble and we know it. We are trying to find ways to make them work, or do better, but we don’t really know what or how. How do we communicate better? How do we express ourselves? What have we learned from our past relationships, and how have they changed us?

The present generation is more educated, accomplished, and yet lonelier than any of our predecessors. We either believe that we can live in isolation, pursuing an ideal of unobstructed independence, or we spend our time in transient relationships, fearful of fully committing to anyone, always having an exit plan in place. This is as true of familial relationships, as friendships and romantic relationships. Emotionally enriching and mutually satisfying relationships require constant negotiations, and communication almost on a daily basis. For most of us, it's too much work! We expect magical solutions, and our loved ones should know exactly how we’re thinking and feeling at any given time. They must know what to say and when. We set high standards for ourselves and for them, thus setting everyone to fail.

Respect, trust, communication, and love are the key ingredients for healthy, nurturing, thriving relationships. It must be noted here that love is mentioned at the end, and for good reason. It is not because it’s the least important, but because love grows organically and automatically in the presence of the other three. It is a common misconception to associate respect with the age of the one who’s its recipient, trust is viewed as blind obedience, and communication, specifically emotional communication is often seen as a sign of weakness. Hence, the loneliness. We begin to feel blocked from not just loving, but also from being loved.

This loss of connection with others permeates the self too, wherein we begin to feel a loss of anchoring within ourselves. A depleted self cannot love or connect with others. And hence, the cycle goes on. We lose too much time in thinking, fearful of acting on our deep feelings and emotions.

Each one of us has the capability to break the cycle by taking responsibility for our own actions. We can choose to act in an emotionally attuned, respectful way with ourselves and others. We can choose to be mindful and kind. We can choose to love despite fear. We can choose to grow. The question is, how well do we choose, and if we remember that we always have a choice!

 

Medha Gupta

 

 

 

 

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Author

  • Medha Gupta

    Medha is a practising Clinical Psychologist (M.A., M.Phil.) Founder & Director - Bija Mantra – Centre for Psychotherapy, Healing and Wellness

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