A garden is a great example of different and better. Each garden is different and the way they grow and produce is also different. Nothing is perfect as there are many factors about a garden that come into play. A Gardner looks for ways to improve the garden so that it can be “better” in some way the following year.
The same could be said for relationships with others. No relationship is perfect but each can be different and better as the parties involved stay committed, learning and investing more in each other and the relationship year after year.
We learn to value people as we grow through personal relationship experiences. Relationship growth doesn’t develop best through casual experiences and acquaintances but more so through relationships that are long-term and have history.
Separately and collectively we establish blended relationships rooted in differences. We are all different. Our differences give us an opportunity to learn and grow individually and together through shared experiences and knowledge.
Our experiences and the knowledge we gain through our friendships, family backgrounds, and within our communities influence our relationship expectations. Those expectations in turn influence our individual viewpoints and preferences, ideas of what happiness does and does not mean, as well as our adaptability to make changes and accept differences.
What is normal for one person can be awkward or uncomfortable to someone else. Adaptability and acceptance is crucial as we further blend, friendships, families, and communities. Change of thought and perception can take time, patience and grace.
When we learn from each other and take the best from what we learn, we can’t help but be changed. We also become more personally connected and realize in lots of way, different can be good.
A lifetime of relationship experiences continues to mold us and blend us into new relationship communities. In these new communities it is important to see people for who they are, care about one another, and work together to recognize important “things” that matter to us as individuals as well as within our communities.
The longer we are in relationships, the more new opportunities we have to learn how to treat others better, care on a more personal level, and over time understand even more that life is about all of “us” not individually but collectively.
Different matters less when we choose to stand side by side, hand and hand, heart to heart through many of life’s changes as acquaintances, friends and family. (A Community)
Different is also better when each experience teaches us something and changes us personally for the better. Relationship experiences continue to broaden our prospective about people and communities. Personal growth happens as life experiences change us from the inside out.
If you are looking for a self-guided process that helps individuals and couples work toward more fulfilling relationships long-term our course books may be for you. Loving Others (For couples), Loving Yourself, Reconciling Through Love are written as self-guided courses but can also be used in conjunction with lay therapy or professional counseling.
Visit RealLifeRelationships.org to learn more and to purchase the course books or her book Love Forever that are also offered by Bretta Durham through Amazon.com.