A Few Thoughts on Relationships

Consider your relationships. Each relationship is an opportunity for expression. And for deepening understanding.

By communicating with others, you come to understand who you are. You do so by hearing yourself speak. You do so but feeling what it is like to speak. You do so by feeling your reactions to what those around you say.

Your hobbies are also a form of relationship. If you play a sport that involves some sort of shooting, your shots are an expression of what is inside you. If you play an instrument, the notes you strike, and the way you strike them, are also an expression of your inner self. Speaking, shooting, and playing music are actually quite similar in this regard.

You also have relationships with the media you expose yourself to. With the movies you watch. With the songs you hear.

You reactions to them are also indicative of who you are. Of what is going on inside you. If you and another have strong feelings about a certain movie or song, this indicates a similarly between the two of you. A similarity that generally runs quite a bit deeper, and is far more meaningful, than most assume it to be.

If you are struggling with a relationship, there are two options available to you. You can either spend time trying to improve it, or you can take some time away from it and spend time working on your other relationships. In some instances, the former option is the best way forward. In other instances, the latter is the best way forward.

Clearly, relationships often improve when you spend more time working on them. When you spend more time with someone you didn’t know well, you become more comfortable around them, and will usually find it easier to express yourself in their presence. It’s similar to what happens when you practice some form of movement. The more times you swing a golf club or strum a chord on a guitar, the more fluid the motion will become. For the most part.

Sometimes however, the movement actually becomes less fluid with more practice. The interactions with the other person become less pleasant as you spend more time with them.

An often overlooked fact is that practicing too much can be just as detrimental to progress as practicing to little.

If the fluidity of movement starts to fade, or the words between you and other stop coming as easily, is a sign that you could use some time away. If you spend time away from a strained relationship, with either a person or a hobby, you will by definition spend more time on your other relationships. Or you might take on an entirely new relationship. Doing either with change the way you perceive the world. It will also change the way you perceive, and therefore experience, your strained relationship. Once your perception has changed sufficiently, you can return to the old relationship, and begin to enjoy it once again.

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