Resilient Relationships PODCAST

Upcoming workshop Amazing Relationships

Why Relationships Flounder and Fail and how they can Thrive and Inspire the World.

We project so much onto our lives, onto the world. and onto other people. Nowhere is this more true than in our relationships. Perhaps you thought that another person could save you, validate you, guide you, or give meaning to the disappointments and victories, to the anxieties and celebrations of living. We’re told that more than half of all marriages and partnerships end in divorce or separation. You’ve probably experienced at least one big breakup in your life, along with all the self-doubt, resentment, and regret that goes with it. Why not? It’s part of living.

Flip that!

We’re wired to RELATE. We’re social beings. Romantic love as a social construct may only be a few centuries old, but deep in our being we’re programmed for affection, empathy, and sustained connection with another, with others. Why then do so many people struggle wondering who they are, how they should go through the world  relating to other people, family, lovers, and friends? The question is whether you grow from this journey of living and loving , or whether you let it close you down.

It’s what you project onto relationships and expect from them that causes the problem.

Are you an idealist or a cynic? Do you consider yourself a realist,. We come to our own perspectives and conclusions based on our hopes and disappointments, watching our parents, watching the world around us. We experience betrayal, ecstasy, embarrassment, fulfillment, frustration — all that goes along with being a human being. The task, the trick, the assignment .. for all of us, in relationships, as in everything else in our lives, is to peel away the layers of expectation so that we can meet another, others, the world, as they are. Not on terms we made up in advance, based on our own predetermined conclusions, but on the terms that evolve in the process of our meeting and being with others.

In other words, the work that’s assigned you is to:

1. To learn to look at things as they are and put aside all past experience, and

2. To love anyway, despite the cost. Because our journey is to love, to see another person in all the glory of their imperfections and uniqueness, and to celebrate them, to celebrate yourself and to celebrate the miraculous journey.

The Relationship Bowl

Imagine your relationship as a large bowl. You know that if you drop it, it will shatter. If you forget about it, or take it for granted, it may slip from your hands and shatter into pieces. If you hold on too tight it could crack, perhaps without you even noticing at first. This bowl is empty, and even as you begin to fill it with your dreams and shared aspirations you are making a commitment. You are shaping the destiny of the relationship. What will you put there? How much space will keep free in this bowl? The choice is yours, and what the bowl becomes will be continually shaped and reshaped by who you become. Treasure the bowl. How you do so is as open as the bowl itself, a work of art, a work of continual creation.

Assume one hundred percent responsibility in every relationship, and even in every communication or interaction that you have.

When it goes well, celebrate. When it doesn’t, ask yourself what you are not seeing, what you have to learn, how you can change? It always worth the effort to know that nothing is set in stone, and there’s always room to let other people in, even if you had thought you had closed the door.


Carl Jung on Relationships: