I once had a musician friend who would strum a chord on his guitar and sing a long and melancholically the word “Reeellaaaaationships!”

The thought makes me smile. Relationships make me smile! I’ve been thinking about Relationsnips lately. Why not write out my thoughts? I share my stuffed animal animations! Why not these ponderings?

In the last two years, I have felt like a submerged swimmer who, after being swept along under the dark water for the longest time, has finally broke the surface. At last I can look about and see the river that has been taking me along.

I look about with understanding. With consciousness. And most of all, with these two things, I can now choose.

Ah… the River: There are sooo many societal, religious and cultural currents that sweep us into relationships. It is natural. We all have our river. But it is also all too often unconscious. These currents– religious traditions, cultural moores, family patterns, government tax benefits, financial expediency– they all sweep us into the arms of others. I remember a psych 1000 class where the prof asked the class the single biggest determinate of your next partner. After many failed class answers, he said: “The place where you come from”.

Its true. 

All these currents are unconscious, and have little to do with conscious intention. They are all natural parts of the process of who you meet and what happens. For me there has been little conscious intention involved in process of relationships. For years, I was swept with the flow and was just happy to find someone else who liked me!  Then the current would sweep us away. Coming from a great family background I am blessed with the stability and relationship skills to make a relationship work and last. Years would go by.

The relationships were all hands down great experiences. The major ones all could have lasted for many years more. For many people they do. The currents of culture and society and finance are so strong. Its sooo much easier to go with these currents than break with them.

In the last year something has happened though. I’ve broke the surface on the current. The flow still swirls around me of course. It always will. But its a whole different river when you’re aware of what’s going on. You can work with the currents to choose with intention. You can choose what you want to experience.Its so beautiful!

No longer must I strive and struggle to meet people. I put out my intentions. Then the current current sweeps me there. Now, people quite literally walk into my life. They sit down on the bus seat beside me. They appear like angels at just the right moment. Its a subtle but profound difference.

It doesn’t mean the relationships that evolve are easy. Often they are frought with emotion and challenge. Yet, because of the intention involved,  a new meaning is added to the joy and… most significantly, to the pain. When you know that you have consciously choosen your pain you know it is something to work through and to experience.   Or, of course, you can choose to experience it no more.

With this underlying consciousness to my relationships, I embrace all that comes– not hesitantly as before. I throw myself into with all my heart. So much better. My moments are so much richer and there are no regrets. Pain… bring it on! What am I learning here? Joy… thank you! Let me share it!   Its sounds sillily simple, but I tell my lovers how I feel– I don’t hold back the good things and the bad things.   I express, live, and love it.

And boy, is ever more fun, rewarding and great for artistic expression and production!