They are the connective tissue of life. Friend, spouse,
child, sibling, coworker, or neighbor, life is filled with
relationships of varying dimensions, spheres of
influence, and intensity.
Each of us is a product of some kind of
connection. In fact, we are born into Relationship
101, a.k.a. our family, which serves as our first social
unit and school for our first lessons in interpersonal
dynamics. This is where personality styles are formed
and family roles are acquired.
These early years are, indeed, formative. We
develop our modus operandi of how we relate to others
and how we operate in the world. Do we become
bullies, pleasers, shrinking violets, peacemakers, or
As life progresses, we advance through the
relationship ranks. We learn how to make friends,
create enemies, find love, taste passion, explore
intimacy, plumb depths, fail love, and, if we are lucky,
as well as courageous, refind love.
Relationships stretch us like a rubber band,
sometimes to the point of breaking; they hollow us until
our innards echo. They take us to the very edge and
then call us back again.
Relationships test us. They make us question, cry,
rant, rave, disavow, and betray; they also warm our
hearts, make us glad to be alive, and allow us to jump
for joy, smile incandescently, and howl with delight.
Relationships are good teachers.