The Importance of Rest, Renewal and Rejuvenation in Relationships
As I have been thinking about what to write for this month’s blog, the topic of relationships, keeps popping into my head. How do relationships fit with the theme of rest, renewal, and rejuvenation? I started thinking about the topic more, and I realized that renewal and rejuvenation are necessary components of establishing, maintaining, and ending relationships.
So many clients come into my office trying to figure out better ways to navigate their relationships; some are dealing with recent breakups, some are struggling in their current relationships, and some are searching for new relationships. Building and creating healthy relationships is all about renewal and rejuvenation. There are certain times in relationships where renewal and rejuvenation can be instrumental in our relationship growth and development.
We all know the saying, “the only way to move forward is to leave something else behind,” but when relationships end, sometimes we aren’t quite ready to just leave everything behind. We need to find time for renewal, which can take many different forms. We need time to grieve, we need time to process, and we need time to reflect on the experiences in the relationship, in order to grow. Psychotherapy allows us to reflect on the end of a relationship and mourn the loss of someone instrumental in our life. It allows time to process, reflect, and renew ourselves, before we begin the next relationship. Often, we think to move forward, we must leave everything behind. In fact, I think it is just the opposite, we need time to reflect and to learn about our patterns in relationships to start anew.
Relationships can be some of the greatest teachers and learning experiences in our lives. Sometimes, we need to rejuvenate a current relationship that just doesn’t seem to be working properly. Psychotherapy can help us take a step back and reevaluate the toxic patterns that may be holding us back in our relationships. As my partner and I always say, “Let’s hit the reset button!” Maybe it is resetting how we talk to one another, maybe it is resetting the focus of a relationship, or maybe we need to rejuvenate the relationship sexually, spiritually, or in some other way. It’s also possible that we just need to find time for ourselves, independent of the relationship!
I think renewal and rejuvenation of ourselves can be the very way we discover our life partners, and a way to start new, healthy relationships. When we take time to work on, invest in, and learn more about who we are, we become attuned to our own needs. When we are more aware of our needs, we can communicate these needs, goals, and desires in a relationship, and we can decipher who the right partner is going to be in our lives.
Relationships are not always easy; they require a time commitment and an emotional investment, but thinking about renewal and rejuvenation can be helpful in the growth and development of these relationships.
Author: Kristin Schmittel, MA, NCC