We are born into a relational matrix, and we are continually shaped by the relational connections in our lives. It is worth the effort to ensure these connections are as healthy as possible.
Connection happens when we allow our story to be influenced and shaped by another. Empathy, vulnerability, honesty, and compassion form the firm foundation for authentic connection. A healthy relationship honors differences and remains connected in a way that is flexible, adaptable, coherent, energized, and stable.1
In our early years we learn to be friends, and we continue to learn what it means to be a good friend throughout all of our ages and stages. A deep, abiding friendship is a key ingredient of becoming good partners who grow and change together over time. Some partnerships lead to parenthood and the opportunity to re-visit much of what shaped us in our young lives -- the good and the challenging. Parents who can be a secure base from which to explore and a safe haven to which to return2 provide a healthy environment in which a young life can grow. And in our adult years we sometimes find ourselves serving as caregiver to someone we love. These connections can be incredibly difficult and an opportunity to experience the power of God's grace and love.
Each type of connection can be enhanced by learning healthy skills and habits. We experience the love of God in the heart and actions of others, and we offer the love of God through our heart and our actions. It is worth the effort to ensure these connections are as healthy as possible.
1Dr. Daniel Siegel
2Circle of Security Parenting