So much emphasis is on our life milestones, graduation, carrier, marriage, and pregnancy in our society, but very little focuses on the present moment of tending to our relationships. It is so easy to focus on the goals and forget about the here and now. But how we lose our connection with our family and friends is by looking always to the future, the next step, and forgetting to be in the moment with them right now. What helps me, is to think of the relationship as another entity.
If I think of my relationship with my husband as a separate being, I can fully see what is missing. I can see that I am focusing on our roommate issues when we are together thus neglecting time seeing him in a loving light. We rarely have time together anymore without kids or jobs dancing in front of us pulling our attention, so what time we have I must tend to the relationship. I sit with him and talk of life, or spend time playing, dancing, and singing together. I must focus on seeing him and being grateful for the little moments, and we must see each other. Making room for the relationship to blossom in your life is huge. Set aside time for roommate stuff later…if that time ever comes, because really does that matter? Play with your partner.
I love to look at the sculpture (see below) from the Burning Man festival this year. This is truly what is happening when we are neglecting the soul of our relationship. Our inner spirit wants to play and dance with our partners but somehow our grown up selves easily lose sight of what’s important, the heart of the relationship. Same for the relationship with our children.
Growing up is scary. As a child there is so much big world out there too busy to notice him. As grown ups we have to teach kids boundaries for functioning in society outside of our homes, but also how to stay connected to their playful soul. By focusing on spending a few minutes every day to play with them, draw, sing, dance, we are cultivating a love of life in them. Our relationship with them is one of a teacher, and a friend. Most importantly, we need to be sure that we are the center of the universe and they orbit us, the parents.
As parents our relationship deserves attention and is as important to the family as they are. We must make time for our relationship because it came first. Children must learn that they are second to our relationship as the parents, they do not get all time and attention. They must share with mom and dad, from simply waiting for the grown-ups to finish talking to allowing the parents to direct after dinner rituals and a bedtime that makes room for parent alone time. Stick to your word, do not waver. Kids are comforted by the strength of their parents love for each other, especially in the moment to moment behaviors. Being strong and consistent with rules and your word is key, always keeping in your mind’s eye the relationship that you have with them. The relationship always needs tending, not just the child that you see.
Shine light on the heart of your relationships, acknowledge them and they will grow!