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Made for Relationship

We were created for relationship. From birth we are in instant relationship with at least one other - the mother who birthed us. Situations change those early relationships: death, divorce, adoption, remarriage, sickness, distance, etc. But still, life has started out in relationship with another. Relationships continue throughout our lives even if we don't participate deeply in them- family, friends, significant others and the list goes on. Just because we were born into relationship though doesn't mean they are easy. Real relationship, deep relationship is difficult and time consuming; it doesn't "just happen" and then they don't just stay that way automatically. Relationships are work, work oftentimes we don't want to do because it requires time and honesty, which can be hard. The difficult stuff is worth it though, because to really be known intimately, and then loved all the more, is an incredible experience. I see many clients who often experience relational difficulty. It's not an uncommon problem. Relationships are tough; we all struggle with them in some form or fashion. And healing in relationships isn't easy, but it is possible! Past wounds do increase the difficulty we have in relationship. Trust can be difficult for those who have experienced betrayal or loss and vulnerability can be a challenge if we've been abused or wounded, but deep relationship is possible. Trust in relationship is achievable. Intimate vulnerability is something you can share with another. These things though take time, work and healing from past wounds. Often, clients I see feel healing isn't possible; they think deep relationship is not an option for them. But ah, how wrong they are! Trust, intimacy and vulnerability are possible for us all - it just takes time, work, healing and perseverance. If you struggle in relationships, consider counseling as an option to uncover where you struggle and how to overcome those struggles to experience deep relationship.

Always In Process

Relationships include pain; they aren't always movie-like. There is conflict, hurt, wounds and pain. There's also joy and love and blissful times too. When I'm working in counseling with individuals or couples, one partner is often on the verge of leaving. They are done with the work, done with the pain of the relationship. They are tired and wounded. I encourage them towards a bigger view of relationship. A song by The Civil Wars called "Poison and Wine" talks about the beauty and the pain of relationship. Sadly, I recently missed seeing them at The Pour House in Downtown Raleigh, but I'm hopeful they'll come back to Raleigh soon! One member of the group, Joy Williams talks about the heart behind their song. She says, "The longer you know someone - and the longer you allow someone to know you - the more the light and shadows inside each person become more vivid. This song was our attempt at being brutally honest about the dangerous and beautiful process of knowing and being known." If we choose to see the grander picture of our marriages, our relationships, then we can enjoy the "dangerous and beautiful process of knowing and being known." It can be so exciting, so reassuring to know that someone knows you that well and "always will". But all too often, one partner gets too weary of the journey and decides to end the relationship. That leaves the world with yet another divorce, more pain, and more wounded people. I encourage you to seek marriage therapy, couples counseling or individual therapy if you are getting to the place where you think of leaving more often than staying with relationship. Each of our relationships are in process and they have the capacity to turn us into deeper people if we'll see the bigger, grander view of relationship and keep walking forward.