We don't often think of relationships as a nutrient, but indeed they are. Freud made a statement about the power of love and relationships and their importance to our happiness when he said: "We are never so hopelessly unhappy as when we lose love."
Freud knew something from his experience about the human condition and 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 experience being cared for, treated respectfully, and what it feels like to receive affection from those we care about.
As an older adult who, like Freud, has seen the ravages of loves 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, it is those we "go home to" and the nourishment they provide us that is our real treasure.
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 www.changingbehavior.org
- Dr. Georgianna Donadio
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