Monday, June 22, 2009

What is a REALationship?

With relationships being as vital as they are in the human life, you would think we all would understand and know just what a real relationship is. Sadly, at least in my experience, this is far from true. How can it be so?

One reason is because we mistake other things for real relationship.

We often think that infatuation, or interest, or commonality, or position, defines real relationship. We think that as long as there is something environmental keeping us together then this is a real relationship. On the surface it's easy to see how many could assume such. After all, haven't we heard for most of our life that the first thing to do to begin a conversation is to establish something on which to base a conversation? So these relationships end up feeling hollow and fleeting.

Then there are those who see real relationship as one of usefulness. These relationships are maintained by one or both parties pleasing and serving the other for selfish reasons. In many, if not most, of these types of relationships, one party serves the other much more than they are served. Because of the need for relationship, some people will be practically enslaved by another just to seek fulfillment. Fulfillment, however, never comes. There is always a sense that something is wrong but you just can't seem to put your finger on the problem.

These "relationships" are anything but fulfilling.

So how do we recognize real relationship? Well, the dictionary defines it using words like connection; relation; interaction; reciprocation. These terms indicate that there is indeed commonality and service within real relationships, but these are only aspects of relationships, not the definition of relationships. Real relationships go deeper; much deeper.

Real relationships differ from what many believe they are in this way: real relationship is about selflessly serving OTHERS, not selfishly being served. Real relationship would be one in which I would serve you to meet your needs and wants, and in which I do this selflessly. You would also serve me in the same selfless way. Real relationship seeks the good of the one being related to. So real relationship is one in which giving is central, not getting.

In the real relationships that I enjoy, we try to outgive each other. There is GREAT JOY in this. These are the relationships that I cherish most. These are the people that I love the most.

These for me are realationships, not pseudolationships.

I dare you to try a realationship. It will change your life. It will change the lives of others.

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