"Know that relationships are 1/3 of the time in sync, 1/3 out of sync and 1/3 of the time in repair." -Regina Pally MD, at the SCPS' Women's Committee Luncheon
I heard a great talk on reflective parenting by Regina Pally MD, founder of the Center for Reflective Communities. She talked about the nature of relationships and how they eb and flow. We don't appreciate that as much as we should. When it gets frustrating being with someone, whether it be our partner, our child or our friend, we may wonder is it supposed to be this hard? The reality is, relationships are complex and a real relationship is not always going to be perfect. The trouble we get into occurs when we expect it to be good all the time, without recognizing fights are going to happen, breaks are needed, and that's all okay and normal. There are exceptions of course such as in cases of violence or abuse. For the purpose of this blog entry, I am talking about the imperfections of a healthy relationships which should never include violence.
As far as most normal relationships go, the more we get to know someone, the more likely we are to see them with their flaws, on bad days, with spinach in their teeth, and muttering a curse word in traffic. We also get the gift of seeing someone as a human being, as flawed as we are. We don't want to see someone who is perfect all the time. It is not realistic and it is not fulfilling. All normal relationships have their ups and downs, their times when two spirits are completely in sync with each other and times when you feel like you are out of sync and speaking different languages. Why is it important to have these moments? For one, it's important because we are all unique individuals and it makes life interesting to be with people who are different from you. But equally importantly, when we are out of sync, we can be in repair. And being in repair offers us the best chance of developing an incredible relationship.
Conflict gives us an excellent opportunity to learn how to connect with and relate to someone. It also gives us the opportunity to love them in spite of that side that is revealed to us. Everyone, at their core, hopes that when they let their hair down or when they show their flaws, that other person will still be there. We all hope that people will love us when we are good to them, but also when we make mistakes and hurt them too. Being out of sync and in repair challenges us to love someone more deeply than we ever did before. It allows for us to advance a relationship. Moreover, you understand that you are not always going to be on the same page as your partner, your daughter, your best friend, it can give you a sense of relief your relationship is not doomed to failure. It's not that you aren't compatible for each other; you are just two humans having a human relationship.