The 'Weeds' of Good Relationships

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As relationships form, relationships fall apart. Ahhhhhh, such is life and nature.

“The only thing constant in change…”

So how do some people keep their relationships healthy through all the years? Not just being in a relationship because its comfortable or because that is what is expected in their environmental culture, but really be present and nourished by their relationships with their significant other? I have been hearing from clients and friends about their significant others’ not fulfilling their needs on one level or another. And it spurred me on to discussing this concept with my husband during a long trip to New Hampshire. But before I go there, let me first talk about the ‘weeds’.

You see, in Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine, it is oftentimes the botanical weeds that are the most effective at releasing heat, moving stagnation in our bodies/digestive systems/minds, removing toxicity. We as herbalists like to utilize the powerful properties of our ‘weeds’ such as dandelion root and nettle while the rest of the world tries to eradicate them from the Earth and their gardens. It is the plants that serve us the best that we oftentimes avoid or try to remove from our lives.

So now, to return to my conversation with my husband. We discussed, we lamented, we chuckled, and we had compassion for all the relationships we had come in contact with throughout our life together. And from there, I created the 3 most important aspects every relationship should have:

1. Your best friend: yes, your significant other should be your best friend. Now there is a caviat here: girlfriends are key for the topics of which guys can not handle discussing/listening to, etc.

2. Trust/honesty: if you can not trust and/or be honest your significant other/yourself, then what do you have? This is what I am trying to teach my 5 year old son and it is questionable if he is grasping the concept yet. Funny, there are some 35 year olds who still haven’t.

3. Communication: uh huh. Bottom line….if you aren’t talking, someone is walking. Hindsight being 20/20, I never knew that the many hours after midnight my husband and I would spend outside on the porch of his old apartment in Oak Square after he got out of work, smoking and drinking wine, would be the foundation of the relationship we have today. *note: talk about toxicity from the smoking, eh? laughing to self….I’ll just use the dandelion root and others…*. But no seriously, talking to your best friend isn’t always easy but it should be essential and enjoyable.

And if a relationship doesn’t have these 3 qualities, usually there will be issues. Perhaps growing weeds instead of perfect flowers. Everyone wants the perfect life, the perfect relationship, like the ones portrayed on FaceBook, etc. I have seen perfect specimens of the nettle plant as well as the dandelions that seem to take my lawn over by storm each year. But I have yet to see a perfect relationship specimen. In fact, there have been a few people who questioned my relationship with my husband yet, I can confidently say that I am sitting next to my best friend right now.

So what are your ‘weeds’ and how can you change your perspective of them in order to water them (and your relationship) to fruition?….