By Georgianna Donadio, PhD –
We don’t often think of relationships as nutritious, but indeed they are. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, made a statement about the power of love and relationships and their importance to our happiness: “We are never so helplessly unhappy as when we lose love.”
Freud knew something from his experience about the human condition because of his many years treating patients who experienced difficult, unfulfilling and loveless relationships. We often forget that those who love us and those we love fulfill our basic human need to be known, valued and wanted. All healthy human beings want to be valued and want to experience being cared for and treated respectfully. We want to receive affection from those we care about.
As an older adult who, like Freud, has seen the ravages of love’s loss, I have come to appreciate and cherish those in my life who fulfill my need to be valued and wanted, my need to be loved.
It is important for each of us to remember that no one is perfect and that if we expect perfection in love, we will surely be disappointed. One of the gifts of age and experience is the relief of realizing that each act of love we give from our imperfect self to another and the love given to us by imperfect others is the most important wealth we possess.
At the end of the day, when all else is stilled and the distractions of work, ambition, success and achievement are put aside, those we “go home to” and the nourishment of our relationships provide us are our real treasures.
May we take a moment each day to appreciate how profound a blessing the gift of relationship is in our lives. For a free download on enhancing your relationship through communication skills, visit http://www.changingbehavior.org/.