Monday, August 29, 2005


Many years ago I did a personal transformation workshop. One of the concepts that was introduced said, “my relationship with you has nothing to do with you.” At first this made absolutely no sense to me. How is that possible? My relationship with you has everything to do with you, I thought.

While reading this post on Jen Gray’s blog, I realized that this concept is perfectly reflected in my friendship with Jen. I have never met Jen. I found her blog and read it every day. When she does not post for a day or two, I miss her. When she writes of being happy, I feel inner warmth about her happiness. Likewise, when she writes of hard or sad times, I am distracted by these thoughts and feel deeply concerned about what she might be going through. Nothing she ever does is directed at me personally, yet it feels as if it is. I relate so much to how she writes and just love the way she views her world and shares it through her pics.

One day I decided to send her an email and acknowledge her work. I thanked her for what I get from it and over some months, an e-pal friendship evolved. I find it hard to articulate how I feel about how this friendship formed. It feels more so as if from nothing than other new friendships I have made in recent years, perhaps because we have never met and there does not feel like any pressing urgency to do so in order to continue growing as friends. When I read the post I referred to earlier, I felt compelled to email her in praise of her bravery. While I still can’t find it in myself to call myself a writer yet, but more someone who is learning to be a writer and someone who wishes to be a writer, I know how hard it can be to be open and lay your thoughts and feelings on the line. Jen somehow does this with such a raw honesty that I truly envy her talent and ability.

Her email response ended with this,
“i wonder if i will ever have half of your beauty grace strength and perspective...

I was so deeply touched by this reciprocal acknowledgement that I burst into tears. I felt incredibly flattered to have received this if not a bit undeserving. This interaction somehow brought the lesson of the concept home to me. When I consciously apply it to other people in my life, it somehow makes my relationships easier to nurture because it releases the other person of all expectation and lays full responsibility for the quality of the relationship at my door. It ties in nicely with the thought that my happiness is not your responsibility, but my own.
I think you have to be strong to live by these thoughts, don't you?