How do you relate?
In continuing our thoughtful explorations into how we interact and connect with the world around us, we ask another thoughtful question: How do you relate? We, as human beings, are relational by nature, seeking to connect with much of our environment. From relating to a friend or a close family member who provides us with that safe space to be our genuine selves, to connecting with the sunset as it casts its beauty across the open water, we are not restricted in our capacity to connect by any definition of what is considered “alive.” We yearn to appreciate and understand our world, whether it comes in the form of people or animals, trees or books, art or music, theater or smiles, everything is accessible to our willingness to connect.
Just as our relational nature can provide us with the opportunity to experience a joyful life, it can also lead us into an unfortunate state of suffering. From drowning under an overwhelming burden of work to feeling acute sadness following an unexpected tragedy, there is no guarantee that our relational nature will bring only happiness to our hearts.
It can be tempting during these times of great sorrow, challenge, or tremendous frustration to turn away from your relational nature, choosing a path of insulation and isolation to weather the difficult circumstances. And while it is important for us to attend to our needs in these trying times, it can become all too easy to slowly fall away from the things that bring us the most joy. Subtle and insidious, this process can be difficult to spot, often occurring in secret despite the most conscious vigilance.
While it may be the perceptive guidance of a close friend that finally leads you to see your fall from your distorted relational being, it is you and only you who can discover the people, activities, scenes and pursuits that bring you the most joy.
We started this discussion asking “How do you relate?,” with the ultimate desire to reach perhaps a more intriguing question “How do you create?” - create the space so that you can genuinely relate, giving and receiving by your nature innate, knowing the present moment to be the one and only gate, for peace to be free and love to tempt fate.