When we say the word “relationship”, we often think of a romantic partner. Sometimes we think about our relationship to our friends or family. However, everything is about relationships. We have a relationship with food. Do I eat this food because it fuels me? Because it minimizes excess calories? Because I love the pleasure of it? We have a relationship with alcohol and/or drugs? Does this adult beverage help me lower inhibition, block my anxiety, create barriers with my spouse, or increase my courage to hook-up? We have a relationship with our bodies? Do I attempt to have optimum health because I love and respect my body? Do I neglect my health because I don’t think I have any control anyway? We have a relationship with the natural world. Is the natural world something to be fearful of and conquered? Is it something that allows for spiritual connection? Is it just landscape to be taken for granted? We have a relationship with ourselves. Is my young self anxious and dis-regulated? Does my adult self know how to breathe, stay calm, and take care of those young urges? Are these two parts of the self known to me? Are they integrated?
We have a relationship to meaning. What is our purpose? What is our passion? Why bother to be on this planet? How are we inhabiting our bodies for these years while we have a chance at this thing called LIFE?
Sometimes life is so frantic and fast we forget to ask and assess these questions. Yet, our relationship to our meaning is potentially the most important thing about being human. Where I live in Boulder, Colorado, there have been a slew of teenage suicides recently. This crisis paralyzes parents, and leaves the rest of us sad and bewildered. Why? What is this crisis really about? Obviously we may never know the reasons these kids took their lives, but perhaps this is a crisis of meaning? As famous German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” Most of us know this quote. It’s almost a cliché at this point. Still, so many of us, and so many of our youth, take this quote and concept for granted. It renders our relationship to meaning as assumed and automatic. “Meaning” defaults to blind auto-pilot, and our lives move into the mundane.
As you explore the most important relationships in your life, and re-evaluate how others can be better optimized, don’t forget that which gives you the utmost passion and pleasure. I can say with confidence that my relationship to my work and my children are integral to my life and my meaning. So, thank you for reading and supporting our work. It means the world to touch others lives and offer so much permission for pleasure and healing.