Our lives are made up of different types of relationships. We depend on our relationships for many reasons. For companionship, comfort, laughter, routine. No matter the reason for the importance of the relationship, there is one that will always stand out clearly in my mind. My relationship with my mother is one that stands out, it was special. She passed away when I was only 22 of a brain tumor.
Other relationships have come and gone even with other loved ones. I’m not saying that they weren’t or won’t be painful, but I just remind myself that if I survived the loss of the closest relationships I’ve had, i will also survive the loss of any that may come My relationship with her has had the most impact of who I am, more so than any other relationship since. Not only did I lose a mother, a confidant, and a mentor, I lost my best friend.
She brightened my life with her laughter, generous hugs, and endless loving in any situation. She provided me with everything I needed and wanted in life. To me, she was the most beautiful person, both inside and outside. Whenever I cried, I relied on her shoulder for comfort and relief. I fled for her shelter when I was feeling ashamed or hurt. I relished in her excitement and happiness when I achieved something. Of course, there were times where she was upset or angry with me. When my lip would tremble and my head bowed down low in shame. Her eyes would soften, unable to hold back laughter and she held her arms out to me. I never knew how deeply she cared for me, how dear she was to me until she was gone. She passed away on January 11, 1988. This was, and still is, the most important relationship in my life. It has help molded me into the person I am and who I will be. I’ve stumbled along the way, as have most, but I know my mom is still smiling down on me with her arms still open.
I have compared every other relationship, unfairly, to the one I had with her, sometimes consciously and unfortunately even subconsciously. My relationship with my mother has impacted every other relationship I have ever had. Trying to have other relationships measure up to how I saw and related to her, I know this is an impossible and unfair task to ask of anyone, but still unconsciously I’ve caught myself doing this very thing. For the majority of us, no one will ever hold the place in our heart our parents do. That not to say they aren’t just as special, but our parents hold a different part of our heart.
Every relationship we form whether it be between our parents, friends, lovers, co workers or employers affects who we become as people. Our relationships are determined ultimately by the relationships that we have made with our parents and our loved ones and it may seem a little abnormal to say your parents are at the fulcrum of you relations with others but we incorporate our parents subconsciously into our lives. If not careful it can be the ultimate downfall for relationship building, its like trying to build a strong, firm & long lasting relationship without a crane to lift the vital pieces into place.
Our relationships with others reflect who are through the way we choose to interact with them. Relationships have a way of defining us as people. People look at us and let the relationships tell them what they need to know.
They say something about who we are. Along the way we may develop bonds that change us for life. These life changing connections instill values and lessons for a lifetime. It is as if they remain with us forever.
At the core of all relationships is the most important relationship of all: the relationship to self. The more we know ourselves, give to ourselves and love ourselves, the more we can truly know and connect to others. If we cannot give love, attention and caring to ourselves, how can we truly share these with others? In order to heal our relationships with others, with God, or anything else we deem important, we need to nurture our relationship with our self. When we are filled with an abundance of self-affinity and self-esteem we see the world and others in it in a new light; one that supports us to create rewarding and fulfilling relationships
The relationships we choose to invest in demonstrate what we value as important and non important. For example, if a person has a friend, and he seems to be into all the wrong things, this will let that person know that something inside them is going on that they desire to be associated with someone of this nature. Every person we spend time with lets us into who we are. In may be gradually, but it happens little by little over time.
The relationships we have with our parents define the rest of our lives. In most cases, a person will look back to those moments as a guide to other relationships. This is the only connection that has that kind of power. A person might say ” My father use to tell me to keep going no matter.” My mother would be there for me.” Since the first of all things are special, that type of relationship is no exception. It carves a space into the heart and mind of every individual. If the relationship between the mother and father was strained, this will have an impact on the person. They could expect conflict elsewhere.
When a person moves to other relationships, they may project what they learned on the person they are with. In friendship connections, this could happen as well. When a person has past issues that are not dealt with, other relationships may be affected in many ways.
Be careful of the relationships you choose because relationships act as mirrors to who we are. I suppose that is what they are there for. Some of them help to remind us of who we are in the first place because it is easy to get away from everything. Some encourage and support our growth, some remind us of the good within us, at the times we need it most, and those are usually the relationships that blossom into something special. These are the relationships that support a lifetime of growth and companionship. Every now and then, we all need a reminder. Sometimes we need the support, encouragement, and honesty to keep us grounded, that is the job of relationships. We may, at times, need a friend to help keep us standing on both feet. We are strongest when have two feet placed on solid ground
Excerpt from :
Hope in the Shadows by Michael Clark