Human relations are forever fascinating.
What makes a love connection endure the challenges of time and change? Why do some friendships span decades while others are short lived and quickly gone? Why does space and distance seem a barrier to some friendships while others are undeterred by thousands of miles, mountain ranges and seas?
I am certain each and every one of us can find such examples within our own lives. It may involve a deep, physical relationship, a casual friendship, a relative.
Relationships are living entities.
The "secret" to their longevity, their growth, their deepening over time is simply this recognition. All living things need nurturing. Love can never be assumed to last, unattended, forever.
Love can never be taken for granted or ignored. Just as a plant or pet will perish unless they are cared for, so it is with love. Mutuality of caring is an essential ingredient. It must be demonstrated to be effective.
We are all creatures who seek love and we are all inherently insecure about being loved. What we need is to feel a reciprocity in our relationships. When one party gives of itself and the other does not, the relationship begins to suffer.
What we seek are those small signs of this mutuality. It is the sign we seek of shared caring and respect. If we feel the other party is not equally committed to the relationship–it will die.
We all know the signs of a living vibrant love.
Those small but powerful signals are what we delight in. A small gift of attention–a phone call, text just to say we care, an email, an old fashioned letter or post card, a personal visit, an acknowledgement of caring when we are in pain. It can be a touch on the arm, a warm hug, a kiss.
Physical gifts are a pleasant reminder that we share an ongoing awareness of the relationship. But they pale in comparison with the small tokens of caring.
We all know people who see relationships as a means of primarily feeding their own needs, their damaged egos, their own insecurities. These individuals are often consumed with their own nurturing. It becomes clear that there is an imbalance in the relationship. They regard their interests are primary, those of the other party are deemed less important. They are all about themselves. This imbalance can be overlooked for a while but just as with any living thing, if it continues it can be lethal to the relationship.
Like all living things, there is a moment in time when love can be resuscitated. It requires recognition of the illness that exists. It may take time and continued attention. A mutual ongoing effort will be essential if there is any hope to bring it back to life.
It certainly can happen. Relationships are repaired and strengthened all the time. But there must be a mutual desire to do so and demonstrable actions to confirm it. Their must be an acknowledgement that the benefit of continuing the healing process ( with the risk it may not survive) outweighs the status quo.
Tender loving care is the mother's milk of relationships. Without it love will not survive.