The Importance of Relationships
The Patchwork Quilt of Our Lives: Combining the Past With the Present to Make Our Future.
Hunkering down in an overstuffed chair to write, I caught a glimpse of two framed photographs sitting on the table in my living room. Two simple wooden frames containing photographs of me and a friend sit side by side to remind me of time spent together. To some these pictures are ordinary, but to me each one represents a very important piece of my life. As I stare at these photographs I find myself beyond thankful for each of these people and the impact their presence has on my life while recognizing that each brings something unique and different; neither one better or more important than the other but equally important and necessary. With soft music playing in my ears I focus on other photographs scattered about the room. On my great grandmother’s table rests a handful of frames filled with black and white images of ancestors. Images of my great grandparents, both grandfathers as little boys, and my mother as a young girl are placed around an aged simple silver frame of me as a baby. Each of these people are a part of me; whether I’ve known them or not they are an essential piece of my life because without them I would not be.
Remembering a conversation with a friend I am reminded not only the importance of relationships but how life, our life, is like an incomplete patchwork quilt. When the quilt maker begins working on a quilt she (or he) begins by cutting squares from fabrics of various color, textures and sizes. Each carefully chosen piece will be sewn together to make a single quilt that will provide warmth on a cold night, safety to a child after a bad dream, comfort to a young adult leaving home for the first time or familiarity and assurance to a new bride as she begins her new life. Unless the squares are stitched together, connected to something bigger it will be of no benefit to anyone. It will simply remain a small, ineffective piece of fabric; maybe pretty to look at but will offer nothing more.
My faith tells me that we were created to live in community; in relationships with one another. As we travel down our life road, we find ourselves creating, cultivating and living in relationships with others. These relationships each become a square in our life quilt; each memory becomes a stitch that binds our life squares together. As new relationships begin we must maintain the previous relationships stitching them all together like the pieces of a quilt. Looking back at the photographs of me and my two friends, I am reminded of the many differences in each relationship. While completely different each is an essential square to my life quilt. I know that adding a new square (or relationship) to my life quilt is a good thing, however I also know that it must be connected to the existing squares to make the quilt complete. It is necessary that we realize the importance of each relationship in our life. As in quilt making each square has its place and purpose, neither one being more significant than the other. Our older relationships represent the old pieces of the quilt that while worn and possibly a bit tattered provide familiarity and warmth. Our new relationships represent the new pieces that when added to our life quilt grows and provides more warmth; and while the newer squares may be brighter and more colorful we still need the older ones to anchor the new ones to.
I encourage you to nurture all of the relationships in your life knowing that each one has a purpose. Embrace the history you have with old friends and welcome the opportunity to create a history with newer friends keeping in mind that without one or the other your life quilt would not be complete. Cherish the friendships in your life, both old and new; wrapping yourself in the warmth of the life quilt you create together. Life begins as an unfinished patchwork quilt, and if we live it fully we will enjoy a completed life quilt at the end of our life journey.
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!