I found myself contemplating this quote following the recent death of Elie Wiesel, holocaust survivor, noble peace prize winner, author, and witness of suffering.
When I look at my own relationships, and when I peer into the relationships my clients entrust me with, what I see is that every single one of us wants to feel that we matter.
The kind of mattering that makes you feel like you are worthy. That you are enough. That you are seen, heard and understood. That you are desired.
This is what I have come to know as a relationship therapist. And also as human being.
I too want to feel desired, enough, worthy, seen, heard & understood. I want to know that my existence matters to the people I care most about.
Countless couples and adults come into my office every week and tell me the same. This is the stuff couples fight about. This is what children act out about. This is the essence of human relational connection.
This is the big secret.
If you want to live into powerful relationships that transform you into your best self, you must show up. Fully. But it’s not simply about your showing up, it’s also about really conveying to the others in your life that you're there for them.
This doesn’t mean that you always agree or that there is no conflict in your life. In fact, I might even suggest that conflict —in and of itself— is not a bad thing. That is, once you get comfortable managing it.
It's no secret that unmanaged conflict destroys relationships, but so too does indifference.
Indifference is what makes you (or your partner, child, friend, stranger, everyone) feel unworthy. That you aren't enough. That you're invisible, misunderstood, unheard and not desired.
Chances are that if you are struggling in a relationship, then feeling like you matter, like your voice really matters, would mean the world to you. It would matter to the strength of your relationship.
Your struggle is a reminder to love.
Love is an act. A verb. A thing you do and experience. It's about seeing, hearing and understanding another and experiencing the reciprocity of feeling that returned towards yourself.
Everyone wants to feel like they matter.
Indifference is the opposite of love.
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