Healthy Relationships: Three lessons from a tulip
For some reason, we have it in our heads that a “healthy relationship” means no conflict…no strife…no complications…no opposing ideas.
This is not true.
By definition, if you are in a relationship, you will have conflict. Our relationships are eco-systems and any evolving, dynamic, changing eco-system will encounter conflict. Conflict, which is simply, opposing ideas.
The yellow tulip bulb that has been breaking open, sprouting, and stretching to the top of the twelve-inch glass container on my dining room table has been in conflict with its tunic (that is its “papery outer shell” of the bulb — I had to look that one up) for several weeks. Its outer shell was becoming too small to contain the life that was dwelling within so an unfolding ensued which required change, transformation and is presently giving birth to the beauty of the flower.
There is no winner in this drama of transformation…it is an unfolding story…a healthy relationship with parts that wither, die, transform, and then give rise to new life and opportunity.
Relationship Lesson #1: Yield
The word yield is GORGEOUS for me as a relationship coach and therapist…it means to “surrender oneself”. When you yield, you are dropping your defenses, your armor, your plan, and your objective and can then meet another in a more neutral ground where transformation is possible.
As long your life is a war of “you against me” and you are defending your territory, retreating, or arming yourself for a battle, a peace treaty is not possible. To yield is to lay down your weapons and open yourself to vulnerability. Yes, you might get hurt. But, most of us are hurting already. If you go back into battle, you are assured to sustain more wounds and suffer the remorse and pain of afflicting wounds on someone you love. If you yield, there is a real possibility that something new can be born.
Relationship Lesson #2: Show Up
When I watch the beautiful unfolding symphony of tulips, crocuses, and daffodils this time of year, I marvel at how fully the “natural” world shows up completely. Presently, as I sit in my cozy living room, next to a blazing fire, I am gazing outside at the spring blizzard here in Denver. I see three inches of snow blanketing the purple and yellow crocuses that boldly shot up just last week in my yard. I see their petals heavy with snow and the contrast of the violet against the pure white snow. I can almost feel them shudder from the sub-zero wind chill…maybe longing to tuck their little heads back down in the warm earth from which they recently escaped.
Here is a “conflict” in nature, an opposition between the weather and the flowers. What would it be like for you to fully show up in places of your life that seem in opposition to you, your plan, your ideas? To push forth, stand tall, and open despite what is going on around you? Seems to me like an invitation to live fully.
Relationship Lesson #3: Boldly Express
In the last four days, I have watched the golden tulips stretch more and more into their full majesty on my dining table. Every time I walk through my dining room, I notice them. I look at them. I smile. I remark to myself about their vibrancy, fresh color, and the feeling of vitality that I get from them. They are a symbol of BEING ALIVE. Not trying to be anything other than what they are for the limited time that they are here.
What would it be like for you to express that boldly? To show up fully in your relationships with others regardless of the potential for conflict and especially in the process of having a conflict!
Ever wonder what your full expression might look like in your relationships? I offer myself to you as a guide to yielding, showing up, and expressing in your relationships. Call me at 720.457.3342 or book online below and let’s see how I might be able to help you achieve your own healthy, vibrant relationships with yourself and others.