I have an Uncle who still lives in the house he grew up in. He is a great man, but has nobody, and never has had anybody to share his life with. Yes he has many friends, in fact he is known by the greater amount of people who have grown up in San Francisco, but he doesn't have anyone to really lean on.
I bring this up because I have recently needed those that are in my life to lean on. This has made me think about the importance of the relationships we form and maintain throughout our lives.
In life relationships are everything, they dictate who we are and how we survive. From business life to personal life, our ability to form and sustain relationships with others is essential in our ability to create a legacy of our own. In many cases we are only as successful as the bonds that we have formed in our lives. Everyone has wondered what their funeral will be like, what will be said, and who will attend. The answer is simple, it will be attended by those that you have touched, they will say what you meant to them, and it will be as wonderful as you made your time with others.
So what keeps us from forming bonds with others? Usually it is our inability to make ourselves vulnerable because to do so initiates our greatest fear, the fear of letting others know we are flawed. We have a hard enough time admitting our flaws to ourselves let alone others, therefore settling into our protective shells sheltered from external opinions. The more we protect ourselves based on our fears the less we allow ourselves to attach to others, and others to us.
There is a certain amount of trust that is needed to bond with another person and that trust begins with trusting yourself, knowing who you are so that others can see your true self. Once we have accomplished the task of having a good relationship with ourselves, then and only then are we ready to have a relationship with another person that will be of any sustenance.
I write this blog as I am on the ferry going across the San Francisco Bay to meet up at a Giants game with a friend I have known my whole life. I am alone going into the city to continue a lifelong bond, the same city, where at this same time, my uncle returns to an empty nest.