Moustakas: The meaning of relationship

Moustakas, Being-In, Being-For, Being-With (1995, p. 70, 71):

In the authentic relationship, there is a facing up to the feelings and issues, an exercise of wills, without the will on either side being negated, impaired, or broken. The will ignites the fires of determination and enables one to face the old patterns of criticism, adversity, and rejection; enables one to live with the negative feelings and thoughts while creating new images and meanings in the process.

What assists us in overcoming the harmful roots of relationship is a new relationship, the presence of a sensitive and caring human being, a friend, teacher, counselor, or therapist. The new relationship is anchored in the reality of one person’s presence to another, in the being there, and in the safety, security, compassion, and acceptance of this other person.

In his chapter on the meaning of relationship, Clark Moustakas talks about rhythms and rituals and the concepts of reciprocity and attunement, as well as “bodying forth” (pp. 79-81) as the necessary and basic conditions for engaging positively with others in an intimate way. As with the title of his book, he talks about “being” as central to relationships that are full, whole, creative and significant.

And so by way of connection… I was scanning through my photos and landed on this one of a fern frond, and it struck me that relationships are curled and circular in this way. One element must unfurl in order to make way for another, and so on. There is no rushing this. Patience is the key.

My mental ‘note to self’ this week is – patience, to be-with.

Fern frond
Photo by Marg on Flickr

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