What is a “real” relationship?

14 3One of the great things about writing from the heart is that there is always plenty of material to share with you. Well, that’s true when I decide to share my inner dialogues without holding back anything out of fear of how I will look or what you might think of me. In the world of blogging it is particularly challenging for whatever I write is available to anyone who wants to read it – my family, the people I work with, people that I want to be in relationship with and mostly folks I don’t know at all.

This morning I awoke with a letter to my daughter in my heart. The starting place was one of frustration with her not being a way that I wanted her to be. As I wrote, I found that the only place to write from was focusing on me. What was it that I was feeling and where did I feel that I was not measuring up to my own inner standards?

dreamstimeweb_312190 4An interesting thing happened. I began to be more and more honest with myself and in this openness, I felt more and more free. I also realized that the message I was writing about family actually applied to all relationships. So I have revised a part of my letter to my daughter to share with you.

What is a true relationship? I think the answer to that question is both complicated and simple. The complicated part comes from the beliefs that I have about what it should be. These beliefs come from who knows where – what I was told when I grew up – what I saw in the movies – my dreams of a perfect life. Whatever the origin these beliefs create an unreal world that I am constantly trying to create.

The simple answer is the question of what is true relationship seems to me to be one where I offer unconditional love and I don’t not have any attachment to who someone ought to be or any agenda of what I want from them.

The choice of what does true relationship mean is obviously very personal and my choice doesn’t mean that it is the right one for anyone other than me. This understanding is helping me though as I look at my life and see where I say I am in a true relationship yet I have a neediness that wants to be filled or a standard of behavior that I feel the other person must meet.

So often I find that my relationships come from wanting something from someone – I would like you to be my client – I want you to help me feel secure – I want to feel wanted. The list can go on and on.

yin yangWhat would it be like to not engage any relationship except from unconditional love and having no agenda or need? What I bring to the relationship is myself (unadorned) in service.

As I write this, I can feel a lot of fear rise up. As I watch it swirl around, I know that I am feeling a discomfort – a discomfort that is from living a life of agendas and unspoken needs. How will it be to live without this approach? I don’t know and I am going to find out – fear or not….

I will let you know how this unfolds.

With appreciation and service,


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Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

3 thoughts on “What is a “real” relationship?”

    1. Thank you for your question. It seems to be a process. The initial reaction was a surprise. I thought I had completely owned the inquiry as being about myself and I believe it was misunderstood. My daughter’s response was one where she felt I was saying things about her? I was confused to say the least.

      As I thought about her response I realized that I had an attachment to how I wanted her to respond. I wrote this letter because I both wanted to be honest with her and I had hopes that she would understand. The second reason is a bit of a slippery slope. When I have a desire for someone to react to what I communicate then I am setting us both up for disappointment. More importantly I am writing with a need. This need can poison the purity of my heartfulness.

      The relationship is unfolding and I have patience and a continuing commitment to have no expectations from her and learn what unconditional love is.


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