Jan 10, 2008

The Three Important 'R's' for a Relationship - Repair, Reactivate and Renew

Of the plethora of tips, advice, and articles on the net the majority address the relationships between man and woman. Often the spouse or the beloved. While it is true that the eternal struggle between 'Mars' and 'Venus' pre-occupy us more, it is also naturally true that we have other relationships to think about. When we increase the field of our vision we should realize that the 'others' in our life are no less important. Perhaps, our thinking is slightly indicative of the fact that we tend to take these for granted. For instance, I can't remember the last time I said a ' I love you' to my parents. Of course, their first impression would be that I have gone off my rocker! But that is besides the point. Relationships are somewhat like a pond...where we have to cast pebbles of thought for the ripples of affection to take place.

The sweep of my relationships includes my parents, my friends and my near relations. The pond is quite large and thus it seems I have many pebbles to gather. We as a habit make a list of resolutions. I will lose weight, I will earn more, I will wake up early... usually populate that list. This year, I have decided to put - renewal of relationships right up their. Its not that I suffer from sense of blankness in my relationships...by far its warm and loving, but with each passing day I realize, today's are turning into yesterdays rather fast. Tomorrow, most of the relationships won't be their. Age will catch up...some will pass on...others will move away. So it’s important to dwell on the moment. Fill that moment with laughter, conversations and memories. After all one day, life will be about memories. So it falls on me today to create those memories.

The first thing for us to do is to create an 'inventory' of our relationships. It could be like individual accounts in a bank. Just a mind exercise, but it will tell us the credits and debits we have made into those accounts. And just like real world accounts, credits add more value than any associated debits. For example, I have some friends from my college years. I had spent my major waking hours with them during those 'wonder years'. Some adventures got captured in photographs lying about. Yes, I have kept in touch with them through an occasional email. But we all need to go beyond that. So for me it has become important to just call up and wipe the distances in more ways than one. It's just takes a phone call.

Then, there are some difficult relationships. Discordant, misunderstood and distanced. We all have one or two of those I guess. For them the only prescription would be - Break the damn ice. Just start a talk. It could be about the weather for all's sake. I guess in most cases theirs no need for a verbalized sorry. It's an underestimated but a powerful word. Just the beginning of a conversation could signal a thaw in the frost. Let's hope all of us can be good ice breakers.

Then there are some other relationships where we have invested far more than we should have. And as a result have suffocated the relationship. It's at a standstill. The good thing about such relationships is that it's at least their. All we need to do is to give the other person their own space. Instead of throwing our expectations on them. Every individual need space to grow and move forward. They also need to change. For that, just let those relationships be. Manage your own expectations and let the relationship find its own voice. That's the only thing you can control. Always remember, how hard it is to change ourselves...what hope have we got to change others.

As the year starts, I hope by its end I have a few more wishes to send, for those friendships which I have managed to repair, reactivate and renew.

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