Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday's Thoughts ~ On Relationships

Lately, I’ve been thinking about relationships.
Not any certain relationship, but relationships in general.

No matter what the relationship may be, one thing is true in all of them: It takes two people to make a relationship work. Two people must be actively involved, participating, communicating, contributing, caring, else the relationship becomes unbalanced and unsatisfying. One person can’t do all the giving.

Even bloggers have relationships, and I’m blessed to have met some amazing bloggers. But not all bloggers are equal. Some want relationships; others don’t. And that’s okay. Blogs are our personal space, to do with as we please. I do enjoy the interaction blogging affords, and I try my best to be a friendly blogger, but I’m sure I’ve fallen short on many occasion. Still, I like the relationship aspect of blogging, but that, too, is a two-way street.
  
I recall many years ago, having a conversation with a teenage girl who was the victim of a broken home. Her relationship with her mother was strained and almost non-existent, simply because there was only one party participating in the relationship, and that was her mother, and it was killing her that her daughter just didn’t seem to care.

In my heart, I knew that wasn’t the case. I knew she was just a teenager who had other things distracting her. So one day, while having lunch with the daughter, I felt it was time for a little shock therapy. As we sat together, I asked her a simple question. I said, “I want to ask you a serious question. How would you feel if you knew your mother was dying?”

At once, she set her fork down and her face took on a look of curiosity. “What do you mean?” she asked “Is my mom sick?”

I said, “Not sick, but she is dying. On the inside. She feels she has lost you, and it’s killing her.” I said, “Do you want a good relationship with your mom?” She assured me she did. I said, “I believe you do, too, but I must tell you it takes two people actively involved to make a relationship work. One person cannot be the only one who reaches out, the only one who calls, the only one who gives. If that’s the case, the relationship will eventually fade, because the only giving party becomes weary and runs out of gas. You have to make an effort, if you truly want this.”

I don’t credit myself with any changes, but, in time, there came a change in the daughter’s attitude, and it wasn’t long before things had turned around in an amazing way. Today, this mother/daughter relationship is strong and intact. There is good communication between them, and a genuine love for each other.

Not every relationship has a happy ending. In fact, many relationships exist for years on end, with only one person making an effort; I’ve been involved in a few of those myself. Sometimes, the best thing to do is stop trying so hard. You can’t make someone feel something they don’t, and it only exhausts you to continually give and give and give. It hurts to back off, but, eventually, it gets easier. It doesn’t mean you no longer care; it only means you are human and you have limitations. And that’s okay.

These have been my thoughts on this sun-drenched October day.

20 comments:

  1. Your blog today gives us all a little insight into how our Jesus must feel. It's true, not everyone's going to reciprocate in relationship. What a blessing it is, though, when they do!

    As an "aged" Titus 2 woman, I also hope to make a difference in restoring relationships. That is my choice and my prayer.

    Thanks for speaking to my heart today.

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  2. Rich thoughts!... I have a relationship...that I feel at times I should back off...but you are right..it hurts and it is hard!

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  3. I should probably edit this by clarifying something. When I say "give," I don't mean money. I mean give of your time, your emotions, your energy. I hope that came through.

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  4. Dayle,
    Beautifully written thoughts on a serious subject. Thank you for giving me food for thought.


    ~Jean

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  5. This is something I have definitely learned over the past many years. It is so true that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I only put energy into those relationships now that really mean something to me. The rest come and go and don't deserve as much attention. My dad stopped speaking to me many years ago -- he married a woman who really took over his life and turned him away from his own family. I reached out to him once in this time and it didn't go well. I hear psychologists say how important it is to reach out, to fix relationships with your parents. But guess what, not every relationship is meant to be fixed and blood is not thicker than water. I've learned to let go and surround myself with those who truly do care. :) Wishing you a bright and beautiful day. Tammy

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  6. Hi Dayl3:

    Good thoughts on relationships - they are a two way street. It takes two to make a relationship work.

    Your photos are beautiful.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  7. That was a good column, Dayle, with a lot of food for thought. You are so right that it takes two people to make a relationship. If one person is doing all the giving, it will eventually be the end. Take care and have a peaceful weekend. Susan

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  8. Good morning! I honestly can't believe you have written this post on this subject as I have been discussing this very thing for a couple of days now with my hubby and my sister. It is just soo true. You reach the point where you no longer strive and work for something the other person just doesn't seem to want. I have MANY satisfying women relationships in my life. Sometimes too many to even keep up with. But I put the effort into them all as I just can't bear to let them go. But this one gal (who I was soo close to at one point it was truly amazing) is ALWAYS putting in soo little effort and soo little time, cancels things, ignore things, etc. etc. that I have FINALLY decided to just let it go. I am offically done. Now here comes the recent debate....Do I write and tell her why and how I am feeling, or do I just fade away? I am most curious to your thoughts....Have a wonderful week-end! HUGS

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  9. Debbie, I will send you my two-cents worth via email.

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  10. It's interesting that you should about this; that very thing has been on my mind lately. Thank you for sharing your thoughts ~ they helped me. :)

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  11. Sigh...could not have stated it better, Dayle. I've learned so much on the subject and yet I find that it's always an ongoing learning process, this complicated subject of two hearts, two minds, two personalities, two universes. I always say give and keep giving without expecting anything in return, but even then, if someone wants out then we must open our hands and let them fly away. It is the very nature of love.

    Thanks for sharing. By the way, I too like the relationship aspect of blogging.

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  12. You don't know how I needed these very words:

    "It hurts to back off, but, eventually, it gets easier. It doesn’t mean you no longer care; it only means you are human and you have limitations. And that’s okay."

    Thank you, my friend. Now I'm going to go and ponder these words.

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  13. Okay, I'm commenting again just to let you know your quilts are killing me. ;) So pretty.

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  14. That's some deep thinking on this October day! But full of truth and wisdom. It took me years to learn this simple concept. Not sure why it's so hard to grasp but guess I'm the eternal optimist who just hopes and prays the relationship will suddenly become equal. So thankful I've given myself permission to have limitations and move on.
    Enjoy your weekend!

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  15. What a well written post. You know I am knee deep in relationship issues (aren't we all?) and sometimes backing off is all we can do. Sounds so simple but when you really love someone and desire a relationship it's so easy to take things in your own hands. Such wonderful food for thought on this October afternoon. Patty

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  16. Wonderfully written, Dayle. You are so right that a relationship takes two people to make it work. I can't tell you the number of times that I have cried and prayed with friends who are trying so hard in a relationship but are the only ones who (seem) to be trying.

    I tend to be a relationship person. I don't have dozens of friends or a big social circle, but I relate to and care for the ones I have.

    I loved what Kelley said about how Jesus feels in our relationship to him.

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  17. I really like this. I'm sending it to some of my special friends and family members.

    Katherine

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  18. Beautiful and so true. Thank you for the gentle reminder.

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  19. Dayle, for days I have been meaning to stop by and read this post a second time, especially that last paragraph. Thank you again.

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle