Have you ever realized that you have relationships with more than just people? In fact you have a relationship with money, love, success, fear, and everything else in your life. Interestingly enough many people have never thought about it this way, but anything that exists and you interact with can be considered a relationship. We tend to think of relationships being between two or more people, but they can be between anything.
So, why is this really important? Well, when you realize you have these relationships, it gives you something new to look at and understand. For example, if you have problems with your job, rather than looking at what’s wrong with the job itself, you can look at your relationship with the job.
Imagine you are working a job where every project you work on is a piece of perfection. You work hard at your job and you are reknowned for the accomplishments in your field, but you’ve begun to find that you are starting to hate your job. Things at work have not been going as well as you’d like in your projects and it’s making you aggravated. Soon, you find yourself counting the minutes until you can finally leave for the day, and every time somebody mentions work you find yourself shuddering at the thought of having to punch in more time at your work.
How would you resolve this issue? Your first reaction is probably to find something wrong with the job and fix it by finding a new job. Here’s the problem though, often when people do this, they discover the same or a similar problem with their new job, and so they change jobs again. Then, there’s an issue with the next job, and you find this job hopping continues indefinitely.
When this happens, often it is because the person in question hasn’t realized the relationship they have with their job. Imagine the job in question was an actual person. We’ll name him Joe. Chances are your relationship will sound like this:
Imagine there’s a man named Joe and you interact with him everyday. You work hard to make Joe absolutely perfect, and you love it when Joe is perfect, because it makes you look good, but you’ve began to hate Joe. Joe has not been as perfect as you’d like, and it’s been making you aggravated. Soon, you find yourself counting down the minutes left before Joe finally leaves, and anytime somebody mentions Joe you find yourself just shuddering at the thought of having to talk to him again.
Very quickly, it becomes self evident that there is an issue is with this man’s job. This man is both a perfectionist and really cares about his reputation. This job has become a major source of his self esteem and he wants his job to be perfect. This attitude has actually created a very abusive relationship with his job. He tries to force his job to be perfect and, when it fails, he treats it poorly and hates it. This relationship continues to deteriorate and the job becomes less and less fulfilling. Eventually, the man could give up on his work entirely.
If you think about it in terms of a relationship, we never expect people to be perfect, because part of what makes a person human is that they aren’t perfect. Imagine if you dated somebody, expected them to be perfect, and got upset when they weren’t. Interestingly enough, this is true for your work as well. It’s very easy to see this way why too much perfectionism in a job could be bad and that it’s important to love and appreciate your work.
Looking at the relationships you have with your life can give you perspective and allow you to make healthier life choices. When we try to treat things with love and respect, life tends to flow more smoothly. When we treat the things abusively, it generates drama and conflict where we don’t want it.
So, a great way to begin understanding your life is to understand these relationships. What is your relationship with love? How about with friendship, your job, drama, food, money, kindness, etc? Ask these questions and you’ll be one step closer to knowing yourself and choosing the life you want for yourself.