Not long ago I was asked what it is that defines the perfect relationship. Not an easy question! How do you define perfect? What is perfect for one couple could be totally boring for another. But I did have an answer. The relationship you have with yourself defines the relationships that you have with other people. Your relationship with yourself is your relationship with life. No relationship with another person can be truly wholistic until our relationship with self is based in Love and respect. And this is rare. How can you truly Love another person
if Love is a stranger in your own ‘inner’ relationship with yourself? In other words, how can you express Love outwardly, if Love is not experienced within?
Begin by accepting yourself. You do this by ceasing all self-criticism. Self-criticism is probably the most destructive of all habits. The person who continually criticizes himself/herself will criticize other people. This, in turn, will eventually cause the souring of many of your relationships. Too many families, however close, are a hot-bed of small angers, personal grievances, and continual arguments. In these situations the people involved do not have a supportive and uplifting relationship with themselves. This is not bad, neither is it wrong, but it does maintain relationships that are non-supportive and demanding, rather than supportive and giving.
In any relationship, look for what you enjoy and admire in the other person. Ignore what aggravates and frustrates you. Where you focus energy flows. If you focus on what you like about a person, and tell them how
much you appreciate this positive quality, it will expand and prosper. If instead – and sadly, most people do this – you focus on what you do not like, giving criticism, then that negative quality too will expand and prosper! Why is it so difficult for people to focus on the positive, rather than automatically engage the negative?
If we are fortunate enough to have children in our lives, we, as adults, have the opportunity to again grow with the vigour and energy of youth. I have four children . . . now adults. By being as fully with them as possible when they were children, I was able to recapture elements of my own childhood that were undernourished. I
never experienced having a grandfather to play with me, or hug me as a boy. My own father did not hug me. He was inhibited because he was a man, and I was a boy! So when I had boys of my own I made sure that I hugged them, and told them how much I loved them. I do it to this day, and they are, of course, men. Our family is scattered now, but on the few occasions I get to hug my grandchildren, not only am I a grandfather hugging them, but the child in me that missed this experience finds it in them. What I am saying is; when I hug my nearby grandson, I am also the grandson being hugged. This is real, and very holistic.