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Improve Your Relationships in 10 Easy Steps....and other lies I've loved

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Have you ever seen those social media ads that boast 10 easy ways to enhance your relationships? Go ahead, admit it, you have clicked on it haven’t you? I’ll let you in on a little secret, so have I. It was the word EASY that sucked me in. But it has been my experience that nothing is further from the truth. Relationships are challenging, whether it is a relationship with a partner, family member (family of origin or chosen family), friends, coworkers, those pesky neighbors that play their music at insane decibels, our planet and all its many inhabitants, or folx we scream at through our television sets. It seems, sometimes, that we are bumping up against the rough edges of one another and our reactions to that phenomenom vary greatly. But what if those jagged edges are the key? Edges that can only be seen from a space of vulnerability and authenticity. And what if our willingness to be vulnerable is the thing that offers true connection and healing?

I recently read a quote by psychotherapist Miriam Greenspan describing what she calls “intervulnerability”. According to Greenspan, this is the pivotal bridging mechanism of community. She states, “in our intervulnerability is our salvation, because awareness of the mutuality of suffering impels us to search for ways to heal the whole, rather than encase ourselves in a bubble of denial and impossible individualism. At this point in history, it seems that we will either destroy ourselves or find a way to build a sustainable life together.” So, it is in our willingness to see and be seen, jagged edges and all, that healing is possible. Gone are the days of the glorification of rugged individualism, there is a new kid in town and its name is community. Spaces of vulnerability and authenticity will be our saving grace. Period. Healing happens in and through relationships, relationships with ourselves, others, the natural world, and the very Universe that is expressed as us. It can be no other way. So I invite your rugged edges to bump up against my rugged edges, and in doing so true community and connection is forged, not in 10 easy steps, but through a lifetime of being willing to have our edges smoothed by one other.

Rev. Ryan

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