How Do You Define A Loving Relationship?
Everywhere you turn love is in the air. I’m not speaking only of romantic love, but the love that is palpable when we stop doing long enough to hear it through the silence, to see it in your co-workers eyes, to feel it in the energy of friendship. I’ve been thinking about this word for several months now, and turning it around in my mind as I look at all the roles I play – daughter, wife, mother, friend, coach, leader, volunteer, church member – the list goes on and on. How does a loving relationship come in to play regardless of the role I play?
To go back to the beginning then, how do you define a loving relationship? What does it look like, feel like, sound like, taste like – using all our senses, in our consciousness, and our unconscious.
Leo Buscaglia, author of Loving Each Other, offers several definitions based on a study he performed back in the 1980’s. I would like to offer up just a few of them, and then invite you to comment by offering your own.
- A loving relationship is a choice partnership. Loving someone in which even imperfection is seen as possibility and, therefore, a thing of beauty… growing in understanding and loving acceptance of each other’s differences and encourages each person to reach out and share.
- A loving relationship is one in which individuals trust each other enough to become vulnerable, secure that the other person won’t take advantage (or judge). It involves much communication, much sharing and much tenderness.
- A loving relationship is a mystical, yet concrete, dynamic experience, fluid, an end in itself rather than being a means to some end, where there are no expectations… there is a deep appreciation of the intrinsic value, possibilities, wonder and truth as it is experienced with the other.
- A loving relationship is where there is a mutual caring about the growth and progress of each, where possessiveness gives way to offering the other to be his/her own person, where selfishness gives way to selfless giving, sharing and caring, where the lines of communication are kept open, where the good in each is maximized, the bad minimized.
- A loving relationship is home for the soul.
All of these definitions, and so much more, have a profound affect on how I interact with the living beings that surround me as I move through my day. It validates my desire to be open and fierce in my conversations. It confirms a deep seated necessity to always look beyond the physical attributes, and surface behavior, to see the possibilities in everyone I meet and to honor them where they are on their path in life. It helps me focus on seeing who they really are. It speaks to my ability to trust and be trusted in all my interactions, to feel secure in being vulnerable with co-workers and clients. And, in all ways, it becomes a choice; one that only I can make when I say “Hello, how are you? Come into my life. You are welcome. I can’t wait to get to know you.”
“Oh Fletch, you don’t love a mob of birds that has just tried to kill you. You don’t love hatred and evil, of course. You have to practice and see the real gull, the good in every one of them, and to help them see it in themselves. That’s what I mean by love. It’s fun, when you get the knack of it.” ~ Jonathan Livingston Seagull
How do you define a loving relationship? How do you take it outside the perimeters of your immediate family and apply it to every role you play, and within the context of your interactions with others on a daily basis?
Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator. She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life. You can also find Georgia on her website, Wisdom for (Wo)men, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.