Relationships are hard work and that is why they are so rewarding. There is no thing you can buy that can create the same sense of fulfillment, intimacy and meaning. We can search for it in consumerism and money – and for a moment – when we buy something new – we might feel like we are on the top of the world. Though it is just that shock of adrenaline pouring through your veins – and when the drug is used up – the same feeling of melancholic emptiness will resurface.
Relationships on the other hand, when nurtured, will support you to develop a deep feeling of gratitude and warmth. It will support and challenge you to expand yourself, to learn, to develop your communication skills, your skills in handling conflict, and more. Hence – at the same time as it can occasionally be tough – it will bring rewards. For example, the reward of seeing your child grow and develop into a self-willed and loving individual. Or the reward of seeing the relationship with your partner take on new depths of intimacy. The more you push, the more you invest, the more you move beyond your resistances, the more you will get back.
It is unfortunate when relationships are scrapped in difficult times even though there is still potential left to be discovered. However because we take the situations personally, because we react and blame, it seems rational to call it quits. The way we handle relationships in such difficult times is similar to how we as a society handle things that break down. We throw it away and buy a new one. This is how it works in a throw-away society. We believe that everything can be replaced, easily, and that it is the right way to go, when things do not work. And similarly to how we are less in touch with the things we own (not many can for example repair a car these days) – we are also less in touch with the people in our lives. Our sense dependency towards one another has disappeared and have been replaced with the opportunity to buy something new.
The way I see it – we would all be happier and more content if we would start creating deep and meaningful relationships beyond the throw-away mentality. And in-fact – not only doing so with our people-relationships – but with the relationship we have with our animals, our things, our food and interests – all of our life in-fact. If we all would have depth – we would not feel so disconnected and disassociated – because we are part of a whole. We are not alone. That sense of being alone that is created in a society ruled by money, where seemingly there is no dependencies, that is false. The creation of our current consumerist system has made it more difficult to see how we are all connected and dependent on each-other – though underneath the surface – the dependency is there. And even though we might not anymore be dependent on our immediate neighbor – all of us on planet Earth shares the same destiny.
There are many new and interesting developments in the world where I see this urge to have depth and meaning flourishing into various kinds of events. For example, it has become popular to grow your own vegetables, to buy second hand clothes, and to buy food that is produced ethically. We do this because we want to get in touch with what is real and experience the fulfillment of having, caring for and investing ourselves into our relationships. The entire package – not only the experience of buying, owning and using.
I myself have for some time been growing vegetables. And it has helped me to see and appreciate the value in food and the effort it takes to produce it. When I buy my groceries in the store, it is impossible to see the process behind every product, and hence it becomes easier to take it all for granted. And I have walked a similar process with relationships to understand why depth and intimacy is not something that can be created in an instance – but that it requires effort and time to build.
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