We live in a relational context. This relational existence reflects to us everything we believe we are and are not. For starters, there is me and there is not me…or you! We know hot only in relationship to cold. This is nothing new. Yet even though we know this, we often forget it and take our relational existence for granted, blaming others and our circumstances for why we are where we are. That is useful only as a starting point for reflection. For to remain there is to be a victim…giving our power away to others and to the circumstances…forever at their affect.

To awaken is to remember. Our inner development depends on remembering the purpose of being human in a relational context. That purpose is learn how to use what we feel and experience as a means of self-reflection, learning how to decipher the messages embedded in the experience.

The way in is to ask, ‘What is this interaction and/or reaction I’m having showing me about myself? What is it I’m supposed to see to find the ‘gold nugget of learning’ and grow emotionally? What am I noticing that might help me get to the bottom of this discomfort and unpleasantness that keeps rearing its head?’ Or, conversely, ‘What is this happiness and joy I am experiencing reflecting about what is important to acknowledge, remember and cultivate?’

Since we live in a relational context, we need to utilize every interaction and leverage all of what we experience for our emotional evolution. I mean everything, because there is no ‘no relationship’ in our human experience. It is ALL relational.

How we relate to our involvements, or how we feel toward each person in our life…those we like and those we don’t… is an opportunity for self-reflection and deciphering. The subject in the reflection is always us, and the questions are, ‘What is this showing me about me? What am I believing in this situation is true about me that is not serving me? What am I believing is true about me that is serving me?

All experiences, all the people we have interactions with, act like the Greek chorus to reflect the scene and our responses to it back to us to decipher the message being delivered and the learning we are to uncover, so they no longer have to hit ‘replay’ in some other guise with the same message.

As one of my trainers use to say…”At first, life throws you a pebble and you miss it so it throws you a tennis ball, and still you miss it. So it throws you a softball, and then a medicine ball and then finally the Rock of Gibraltar before we ‘get it’!

Relationship is simply a reflection laboratory designed for our personal evolution. Welcome to the human dimension where we are in relationship with everything and everybody we encounter…even when we believe we are alone. Then we’re in relationship with our alone-ness! So what’s the message from one of your relational experiences today?