Monday, February 28, 2011

People Who Need People

Do you remember this song sung by Barbra Streisand?

"People, people who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world."

Ultimately, I think that is a true statement. It has layers of meanings, of course. But for me, it reminds us that we do need each other and we are blessed if we understand that! We are relationship-oriented beings by nature. Our ancestors lived in tribes and communities where there was a healthy interdependence.

Somewhere along the line we replaced interdependence with independence and that became the norm. Now there is definitely a place for independence, but we need to live in community where we are dependent upon others and they are dependent upon us.

Together we can live and grow and thrive. We learn from each other. We encourage one another. We help each other. We carry one another's burdens, and we discover that a load is lighter when carried by two.

To be healthy we need to be in relationships with family and friends. If we're not, not only does our emotional health suffer but our physical well-being is at risk as well.

I encourage people to find a way to form relationships. Join a Bible study group. Volunteer. Take a dance class. Take up a hobby. Once you begin to meet people, don't be afraid to invite someone to coffee. Relationships start small and they grow from there.

Relationships are one of our basic needs. Take the steps to develop some, rekindle some, or deepen some. The rewards may be great!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine's Day. One of the things that often comes up with people who are not in a relationship is that Valentine's Day is a day of loneliness and feeling different. For some, it reminds them of the grief they feel at not having a partner or having lost one.

Those feelings are valid and are to be acknowledged and worked through.

Valentine's Day, for some, is a day of mourning that springboards into a period of grief. While (as I stated above) the feeling is a normal feeling, here are some suggestions for not beginning a spiral down that may be difficult to pull out of.

1) Plan activities with single friends. Love is in the air, but there are different kinds of love. Friendships are a kind of love that is deep and meaningful. Enjoy them!

2) Make Valentine's Day about serving others. Make some cookies or homemade valentines and take them to the shut-ins in your community. The faces that light up will warm your heart!

3) Do something fun for yourself. Get a massage or a manicure. Buy yourself a new outfit.

4) Throw a valentine's day dinner party for people who have no partner or whose partner is away (military, etc.). It will be a nice way to spend the evening, knowing that those you invite will appreciate the invitation on a day difficult for them as well.

The idea here is to try to not dwell on the sad feelings, but rather focus on others and what you do have in your life. It is normal to long for a partner, and if that sad feeling is an ongoing thing for you, then it may be that you need to work through the feelings with a counselor. If it is only "seasonal" then taking care of yourself will help greatly!