Quirin ~ Holly Austin Grimes

Anneal (verb): to heat metal or glass and allow it to cool slowly, in order to remove internal stresses and toughen it.

We are all involved in interpersonal relationships, whether they are romantic, familial, friendship, professional or casual acquaintance. And we all experience challenges from time to time within them. Some, more than others. For all too many of us, we often witnessed dysfunctional relationships while we were growing up, and not knowing any better some of us then went on to be participants in more or less flawed relationships of our own.

There is no such thing as a perfect relationship, in any case. Honestly, we often hardly manage functional relationships with ourselves. In fact, our relationships with ourselves are often the hardest! And if we have been exposed in our formative years to interactions which were not always the best examples, we follow many of the same patterns and make many of the same mistakes. Hurtful exchanges occur, and then we tend to react to one another instead of acting proactively in a healthy way, and this leads to feelings that undermine not only the relationship itself, but also our perceptions of ourselves. It becomes a vicious cycle. A very destructive one.

We then have the tendency to characterize the whole scenario as a "bad relationship". And while in some cases (too many) that may actually be the case, more often than not it is not the relationship which is "bad" - or more appropriately, erroneous - but rather, our behavior within it. The first consideration, then, should be self-examination in order to discover where we can make improvement, so that we may grow in understanding and affect positive change that will result in more fruitful and harmonious interaction.

While it is most common to bemoan our circumstances and to focus on all the trouble they are causing us, there is a broader view we can take on these situations in our lives. From a more spiritual perspective, relationships are about learning, about expanding our capabilities, developing new skill sets and deepening our comprehension about how relationships actually work, so that we can become more effective within them. When we make the effort to shift our understanding in this manner, we allow ourselves to see potential instead of hardship, and we become more able to manage the exchange so that we can create a better outcome.

Good relationships are a lot of hard work, between sometimes widely diverse people. But they do not have to be "difficult", in the ways we have come to understand in the past. Functional relationships can be challenging, but they should not strain us to the point of breaking. If that is the case, then it might be best to re-evaluate how appropriate a relationship we actually have. If we take the time and put forth the effort of practicing mindfulness in all our varied connections, we find that we are not being put through the fire to be destroyed, but rather to be annealed. In this way, we overcome the inner stresses that make us fragile, and embrace the processes that make us strong.

About the Author

Born a natural writer, Holly's mom used to tell people that she came out of the womb with a pencil in her hand. Her goal in writing is to offer deeper observances about her everyday experiences, in order to assist others as they traverse the path of life's journey. Find Holly Austin Grimes on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Quirinvox

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Comment by Holly Austin Grimes on February 7, 2015 at 6:40am
Just in case I needed to say it, yes I am good with it! LOL!
Comment by Kathy Custren on February 6, 2015 at 2:20pm

If you're good with this, so am I. I saw only a few words change from the original version, so What We See Is What We Get, I suppose. For future reference (and I think it may be mentioned in the guidelines) the sweet spot to aim for on submissions can be between 700 and 1000 words, on average. Have FUN!!! 

Comment by Holly Austin Grimes on February 6, 2015 at 1:42pm

My great pleasure, Kathy!  Of course my full name is appropriate. :)  I was doing the word-count thing and thought I had 60 words to use.  While it took me a bit to get into the pool, so to speak, once I have actually completed something, I am highly dedicated to being prompt and efficient in delivering a properly refined result.  So no one will ever wait long when an edit has been requested!  I am gathering, since it is back to its original form, that the "fluffing" was not necessary in this particular case. hahaha  

Thank you again for the pleasant interaction!  I am not at all easily perturbed by constructive criticism (frankly, any other, as well!), as I strive to be an excellent communicator, and every bit of input helps me towards that end!  I deeply appreciate the opportunity for such!

Comment by Kathy Custren on February 6, 2015 at 5:38am

Thank you, Holly - I amended your bio in the slightest, to include your full name, which I hope is okay with you. It, too, is concise (thanks again!) and can be tweaked as you may see fit. Onward to the publishers, with thanks for being so prompt...and not as verbose. ~ Blessings! 

Comment by Holly Austin Grimes on February 6, 2015 at 12:52am

Thank you very much, Kathy!  I have sent a reply in email!  I appreciate the feedback!  I have to say this is a first for my being told I had written too sparsely!  LOL!!  And I am greatly relieved to hear that!  Usually, I am confronted with being far too verbose!! 

Comment by Kathy Custren on February 5, 2015 at 11:45pm

Thank you, Holly - great welcoming post! It is a very worthy topic that may be forwarded to the publishers. However, there are two things to let you know. One is that you can feel free to expand on your contributions just a little more. I have your word count at 542 words, our general minimum is around 700. The second is that we need your bio paragraph added to the bottom, please. It can just say "About the Author" followed by a brief, 60-word biograph that you would like to accompany your piece. I forget to put mine quite often so it is great that you're fitting right in! :) Please send me a message to let me know if you've chosen to add more text and that your bio is there. Thanks again, and keep 'em coming! ~ Blessings! 

Comment by Holly Austin Grimes on February 5, 2015 at 5:51pm
Thank you Tanaaz! :)
Comment by Tanaaz Chubb on February 5, 2015 at 5:30pm

great article thank you!

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