There is an African proverb that translates roughly, “A person is a person because of other people”. Or in South Africa it translates, “I am, because you are.” This is the quintessential truth of relationships, they form and shape us into the persons we are and we in turn, impact others.
As a systemic therapist, I place a strong value in how our contexts are impacting us and nothing is more dynamic than relationship. Yet even with open, loving hearts and good intentions, relationships are challenging!
- Friendships become confusing, complicated. Or they suddenly end, and one is left struggling to understand what happened.
- The dating relationship that began so excitedly suddenly is frustrating, strained, and in jeopardy.
- Maybe it’s a parent-child; parent and grown child dynamic that suddenly has changed and the closeness that once felt so certain seems precariously close to being lost.
- The loving committed couples relationship enjoyed for years maybe has hit challenges from within the dynamic or from the external world and the strength relied on now becomes tenuous, maybe even conflictual.
We spend a great deal of our lives striving to understand who we are in relationship with another, after all, our days are spent living near one another, being influenced, shaped and formed even while we strive to maintain a healthy sense of Self with autonomy.
The recent pandemic highlighted both our true need for one another and the strain of isolation – all alone – or even with a small number of others (partner, children, parents). Busyness that distracted us was eliminated – and now back in full force – and the relationship’s needs are pressing.
Let’s explore this together as I support you in your relationships – with new perspective or context and healthy boundaries – as you navigate these complex times.