Human beings are born in relationship and the lives we lead right from infancy to old age are anchored in relationships. It is in relationship that we grow and achieve adulthood and die in the final peace that comes through dying in a trusting relationship with God.
There are many views on the nature of human relationships. In practice, however, it is the day-to-day relationships that must survive the wear and tear of daily life. Sometimes we find that in order not to sour a relationship, it is better to keep a distance. At other times, a clean break becomes necessary. We need to learn to cultivate relationships in a way that there is room for love, mutual respect and space for the other to grow.
At work the equations are different. In an office or a work environment, in which hierarchy is important, relationships tend to remain at a rather superficial level. There is a certain give and take in official relationships, but they rarely survive once we are out of that particular work situation and environment.
The family, which was once the primary environment for close relationships, is no longer so for many because the sanctity of relationships is under threat. When mistrust and insecurity make demands of family life cloying, we might have to make that extra effort to strike a balance that will restore the pristine nature of the original relationship.
Relationships become our chief means of reaching God. Ritual, common prayer, worship and solidarity are all conventional ways to do this. If we wish to take the relationship still further, we might have to establish a more personal link with God. Sometimes, the give and take of ordinary relationships creates a gentle arc that connects us to the Divine.
Conversations are an important way of building up relationships. They could be silent or expressed vocally. Such relationships look beyond a given set of circumstances for a wider, deeper perspective, to understand the truth that lies beneath what is apparent on the surface.
The longer we live and the more experienced we are, our ability to discern the true nature of relationships improves. We are able to take considered decisions on whether to continue with a certain relationship or call it quits without acrimony or hatred.
When we cultivate virtues like patience, compassion, mutual respect and a loving nature, we are well on the way to touching the heart of God, whose reflection we see in other human beings. God invites us through the diversity and wealth of His Creation, to a relationship of universal love. To love His Creation is to love God.
Any relationship that is nurtured for selfish motives and which is vulnerable to feelings of jealousy, hate and suspicion cannot last for it is not founded on unselfish love. And without the ingredient of love, a relationship lacks the spark that can help take it forward towards higher dimensions.
We might remember those who built empires or created elaborate monuments for themselves in the course of remembering inconsequential details of material achievements. Immortal memories ^ in our collective consciousness ^ would however be made up of those acts of kindness and love that came unsolicited, or of those who nudged us on to the path to finding God, to share with us the divine experience of unalloyed bliss.
Lovely Thoughts for Lovely People Just Like You