Are You Growing in your Relationship?

One does not need to work on growing and developing.

November 20, 2020

Can you remember when you were small, and a parent, an aunt or uncle, or a grandmother or grandfather read a book with you?

Sometimes it was an exploration. They pointed out things that you didn’t see or notice. And whether you were aware of it or not, you may have pointed out things that they had not seen or noticed. You were on an adventure together. It was fun, wasn’t it?

And sometimes it wasn’t so fun – especially when they were trying to get you to see something they thought you should see the way you were supposed to see it. 

Their intentions were good: they wanted you to grow and develop. But there was something they may not have been aware of - one does not need to work on growing and developing.

Some time ago, we invited a friend to be in one of our workshops. She responded, “I’m just tired of training and developing myself.” And we really got it. We realized that was true for us, too. 

As we explored that experience, we began to realize that growth and development are natural and do not need to be worked on. We human beings cannot not grow and develop. Even when we are quite old, we are growing – if only older, crankier or wiser. And we cannot help but develop – new insights into life, as well as new aches and pains.

It also occurred to us now that our children grow and develop more rapidly before we begin to work at training and developing them than they do after we begin their [formal] training and development. We seem to slow them down.

What most parents mean by “training and development” is to have their children develop along a particular path. If the children don’t follow that path, parents conclude that they’re not developing properly. 

Perhaps we should not encourage participation in something in order to cause growth and development. Perhaps we should encourage participation in something - a sport, an art, a relationship workshop - as an expression of our interest and enthusiasm, and let growth and development happen as it does – naturally! Perhaps we should simply live fully and consistently with our values, share our lives, and let our relationships and our families grow and develop with us.  

“Childhood is not preparation for life; childhood is life! A child isn’t getting ready to live; a child is living. Childhood isn’t a time when he is molded into a human who will then live life; he is a human who is living life.”  ~ John A. Taylor

Best wishes,


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