Your Relationship is your Greatest Asset
Two swans chose to make our part of the world their home a few months ago. Christian and I spent many afternoons visiting them. Their graceful heads would bob up and down in anticipation of our arrival. They delicately ate the food offerings out of our hands. They were always together, always watching out for each other.
We have just returned from a long time of travel and were keen to visit the love partners again on our afternoon walk. As we neared the lake yesterday, only one lone swan stretched its elegant neck above the glassy lake. Perhaps I imagined it, but its eyes seemed to hold a sadness, emptiness and deep loneliness.
Grief arises as a result of loss. It teaches us about who and what we love.
Today we returned again to the lake but found no swan. On our way home we always pass a tree filled with a colony of Ibises. Ibises are messy, crazy, chatterboxes. They are always engaged in some sort of industry: yelling at each other, building nests, flying from tree to tree.
There, gliding tranquilly on the small pond in front of the Ibises, was our swan.
As obvious as it sounds, the best way to overcome loneliness is to be with people and share smiles, hugs and laughs. This is not always easy to do; people can be lonely even amidst a crowd. Being around people raises oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine to bring about good feelings.
Our swan had certainly found a way to raise her oxytocin levels by being around the noisiest birds in the parkland. Although she looked quite out of place, she seemed to be more content and did not even acknowledge our presence. She had, perhaps, found a new sense of belonging, even if it was with a motley crew of dishevelled, raucous ibises.
This Christmas, I know that some reading may have lost someone dear, or may have not yet found a special love partner. It may be hard to draw close to people, for whatever reason. The warm fuzzies have gone out of your life and have been replaced by cold pricklies. Loneliness can do that. If, for whatever reason you feel you have no more to give, that the sadness is too overwhelming, that the pain is too much, Christian and I would like to share a story with you this Christmas. It is a simple story. But one that we hope will encourage you to reach out to others, let people in, even if they seem so very different than yourself. Even if it’s a struggle, even if it initially hurts, remember that warm fuzzies never run out. The more you give, the more they multiply.
Welcome to our blog. Each blog contains an insight into your relationship and how to mend or grow it drawn from Christian's 18 years of clinical experience working in psychiatry. They are told as stories. The central ideas are in bold. All the pictures are originals. We post once a month. Looking forward to travelling with you in this amazing journey called life.