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...Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels

The dizzy dancing way you feel

As every fairy tale comes real

I’ve looked at love that way

 

But now it’s just another show

You leave em laughing when you go

And if you care, don’t let them know

Don’t give yourself away

 

I’ve looked at love from both sides now

From give and take, and still somehow

It's loves illusions I recall

I really don't know love at all...

From 'Both Sides Now' by Joni Mitchell


Relationship is the most basic, and important, building block of life. After all, if we didn’t have a mother and father, we wouldn’t be able to share in the experience at all! The greatest joy and the greatest pain come from relationships. We are social beings and we crave not only being together, but intimacy on deep levels. Even the people who choose to live life cut off from the rest of humanity suffer relationship pain, for loneliness is the lack of meaningful relationships.

 

No matter how you cut it, family is still at the foundation of life. Whether it is functional, loving and supportive, dysfunctional, hate filled and abusive, or someplace in-between, family is where we come from and has much to do with who we are. The good news is that all of us have the capacity to make our relationships and families better, richer and more meaningful. We have the ability, in a large degree, to work toward making our dreams come true and sharing in the deepest and most fulfilling experiences that life has to offer.

 

Family is the place where the loving and caring of life should take place. Emotionally stable people have the capacity to give themselves to others and it’s the family that should equip us for the other useful and meaningful relationships of life. The family needs to be a safe, supportive place, where trust reigns supreme and each member knows the others are for them, on their side in the battles of life. The moral and social principles that are taught and upheld form the foundation for the future happiness and usefulness of the children. In all, the family unit and the extended relationships that spread into the network of life beyond, are the foundation of life and society.

 

What are the dynamics of relationship? How can we interact with them in a winning way? How can we fix the broken relationships, or prevent them from breaking down?

 

While this brief discussion isn’t intended to be exhaustive in any area, we’ll look at a few basic principles of relationship and a few positive principles that can help all of us to achieve our hearts desire for friendship, romance, happiness and enjoyable, lasting, family relations.

 

It seems that life relationships can naturally be divided in these categories:

 

            • Attraction

            Friendship

            • Understanding

            • Commitment

            • Intimacy

            • Growing a Healthy Family

            • Conflict Resolution

 

The subject matter of these pages is not just the result of text book study.  The author has studied, interacted with and counselled many individuals and couples over the years. The authors’ marriage to the same person is heading toward the forty year mark, with the fruit of the union being three well adjusted and happy grown children. This outcome of life was not the first set of circumstances he found himself involved in. Coming from a turbulent youth and making a series of poor choices based on faulty assumptions, he found himself very quickly descending into an abyss of misery resulting largely from his mismanagement of life and relationships. The pain caused himself, and many other people, became the laboratory that this life study has grown out of. Happiness, fulfilment and usefulness in life are not a product of luck or chance, but largely the result of reasoned, carefully thought through, choices we make for ourselves.