Why it’s crucial to nurture relationships

If there’s an important relationship you’ve been neglecting, it will always pay to invest time and energy in it.

When a gardener sows seeds she has no way of knowing which will thrive and which won’t. Instead, a little while after they’ve germinated she’ll thin out her seedlings in a process sometimes called “pricking out”.

Those which are weaker will be removed in order that the stronger ones have more space in which to grow, and she’ll also be able to focus her attention on the plants with the best prospects.

I’m certain there are other instances in life in which it pays to concentrate our energies in a few well-defined areas rather than spreading ourselves too thinly elsewhere. A notable example? Our relationships with others.

Of course it makes great sense to cultivate friendships with a number of people at the same time, and as we and others are learning from our experiences with our WellBee cards, it’s clear that the closeness (and to some extent quantity) of our connections can have a pretty profound affect on levels of overall wellbeing.

In talking about thinning out seedlings, I don’t mean to imply doing anything like this with your friendships. But I do think it makes sense from time to time to ask yourself if there’s perhaps one particular relationship that you’ve been neglecting?

Is there someone important who’d benefit from more of your focus? Would it make sense to invest energy in patching things up if that’s necessary? Could it be a good idea to spend time in this person’s company, or in an exchange of messages or a phone conversation if they’re physically remote?

Relationships are there to be enjoyed. How about doing just that today?

4 thoughts on “Why it’s crucial to nurture relationships

  1. I tried so hard to save a relationship but it can only work if the other person is willing to try too. Sadly that was not the case for me. But still a good reminder.

    1. How indeed! Hello Wendy – I am so sorry for your loss.

      When my father died and I felt that I still had things to say to him, I did two things.

      Firstly I kept a journal of how I was feeling and coping or not coping.

      Secondly at the back of the journal I wrote him a letter over a number of weeks. (I was in counselling at the time – I can’t remember whether it was my counsellor’s idea or mine.)

      At first I would write something most days; as the weeks passed I would write maybe only once or twice a week. As I reread what I had written I could see the progress I was making. Also I found it easier to let him go as I could see what I had already “told” him; if I started repeating myself, it was easier to allow myself to stop going round the same (exhausting) circles (by reminding myself “I’ve already said that; so I don’t need to say it again”).

      When I cried, I would remind myself that tears are an important part of grieving and an expression of the emotions I felt for him, with the phrase “tears of healing”.

      Hubby had a good way of describing grief; it’s like being in the sea – sometimes we stand at the edge with waves rippling gently at our feet – sometimes we are upto our necks in the sea and constantly submerged with each new rollercoaster of a wave crashing down on us.

      People always say that time is a great healer; annoying though it can be to have this repeated often, they are right. Time does heal, but it takes just that – time.

      I wish you peace of mind and heart on this journey.


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