A simple question: what happens to anything you don’t pay attention to, don’t have some kind of plan for, and don’t invest effort in?
I am amazed, and more so after being around-the-block a few years, that most people don’t see the obvious when it comes to relationships.
Everything in life, if it is to work, involves being involved, right?
As in, actively involved.
And also, having a vision. Goals.
Following-up. Paying attention to details.
Consistently investing time and effort. Facing obstacles. Getting creative. Working hard.
Somehow, all this becomes ‘not applicable’ when it comes to relationships. Somehow, relationships are supposed to maintain themselves – even thrive on neglect and passivity.
I think I’ll start treating my house, kids, fur babies and work-related projects the same way some (many) people treat relationships.
The house will only require a good vacuum cleaner, paper towels and spray bottles placed in each room. All I need to do for laundry is place it next to a bottle of good detergent and a washing machine. Cooking will involve some good ingredients on the counter around the stove.
Well, you get the picture.
Everything will clean, cook and work itself out in the same way relationships are expected to! Since all that’s needed for a relationship are two people with some good qualities who exist next to each other, all we need in other aspects of our lives are good ‘ingredients’.
And then we can just relax, stand by and watch the magic magically happen on its own.
Oh and if after not feeding, grooming, and in so many other ways nurturing my kids and pets, any of them start protesting, I’m just going to dismiss them as incompatible, whiny, demanding, controlling and needy.
And then I’m going to exchange them for another set of kids and pets, hopefully less needy ones.
I’m also thrilled at the idea that for my next marketing project, all I have to do is leave some nice photos and online thesaurus pages open on my desktop. The campaign will design and write itself. A quality campaign is supposed to work on its own isn’t it? Making a plan and working on it would make the whole thing so boring and contrived.
But seriously…what are people thinking? How on earth is this essential, amazing and incredibly complex thing called ‘relationship’ supposed to work, let alone thrive, in only the shadow of our – how to put this nicely – neglect?
Nothing in this world, not even a muffin from a box, gets made without mindful participation on our part.
As for things of some quality (cakes and rocket ships come to mind), they require a generous investment of time and effort. Creativity, enthusiasm, practice.
Everything in this world that has any chance to work and grow, not to mention has any value, is necessarily an intense labor of love. Yes, labor.
Relationships do work if we treat them as we treat anything else we want to steer towards a successful, desirable outcome.
So, mystery solved. I suppose I should apologize for failing to make this complicated.