(ThyBlackMan.com) We live in a relationship reality; each day of our lives is shaped by it. Much of who we are – for better or worse – stems from a relationship, whether personal or interpersonal.
Our first relationship is with Divinity, God. Absent a relationship with a Higher Power, we are merely a mass of dangling human protoplasm. If there is no Higher Power than ourselves, then we automatically insert ourselves as a Higher Power. We have nothing to align ourselves with but ourselves – and that is a dangerous proposition.
A relationship with God is comprised of devotion, ritual, worship and study. It is the foundation upon which other relationships proceed, the relationship with ourselves, others and the wider community. When this relationship is properly aligned, the alignment of other relationships follows.
Relationship with Self
This is the relationship that is ultimately born of our relationship with God. This is where our innermost alignment happens; we become stronger within ourselves when we have a devotional, inspiring and disciplined relationship with a Higher Power. Ralph Waldo Emerson writes, What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. What we have within is a power, a seed of greatness that can only be nurtured when aligned with something bigger than who we are.
A right relationship with self means we are attuned to our deepest yearnings; we are constantly engaging ourselves with thought-provoking questions. It’s an acceptance of who we are and who we are becoming and developing our lives with discipline and care. A right relationship with self embraces the good and the bad and understands that we are indeed a piece of heaven and a chunk of earth.
Relationship with Others
Our vertical relationships also stem from a relationship with God and with ourselves. If these two variables are absent, vertical relationships become out of balance. When those variables are present, we proceed vertically with a sense of non-judgmental compassion. We are careful, however, not to make the mistake of attempting to control our vertical relationships – those with family, friends and associates. Instead, let the person be who they are; your focus should be to prosper and succeed. The beginning of love, writes Thomas Merton, is let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. Nor should we allow ourselves to come under the negative influence of such relationships.
Relationship with the Community
Finally, when we proceed from a right relationship with God, self and loved ones, we are connected to our wider self – the community in which we live (and even globally). This means we cannot simply bury our heads in the sand and ignore our commitment to peace and justice, and that we are not merely concerned about the welfare of our own, but others as well. We plant seeds that others may water. Ultimately, good comes from it.
Long ago, the great Helen Keller wrote, Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained. We do not have to look across the globe to see the needs of others. Needs exist right in our community.
We live in a relationship reality.
Staff Writer; W. Eric Croomes
This talented brother is a holistic lifestyle exercise expert and founder and executive coach of Infinite Strategies LLC, a multi-level coaching firm that develops and executes strategies for fitness training, youth achievement and lifestyle management. Eric is an author, fitness professional, holistic life coach and motivational speaker.
In October 2015, Eric released Life’s A Gym: Seven Fitness Principles to Get the Best of Both, which shows readers how to use exercise to attract a feeling of wellness, success and freedom (Infinite Strategies Coaching LLC, 2015) – http://www.infinitefitnesscoaching.com.