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  • SuePattonThoele

Growing in the Kiln of Relationship



One of the oldest human needs is having

someone wonder where you are when

you don’t come home at night.

—Margaret Mead


Feminine energy, wisdom, and power are relational. We thrive on connection and companionship. When our relationships with ourselves and others are going smoothly, we feel centered and grounded, able to take on the world. However, when a relationship is askew, we feel out of balance, bereft, and anxious to make it right. Relationships are our ballast and barometer; they warm our hearts; and, yes, sometimes they curdle our blood. Relationships are also the best personal growth workshops we could ever attend. Out of their bountiful lessons grew the acronym FGOs. The G and O stand for growth opportunities; please use any F word you like to complete the thought. Because we need relationships and can be so vulnerable within them, they are hot beds of transformation. No matter the nature of a relationship—parent, child, spouse, friend, sibling, frenemy, neighbor, colleague—many become mirrors reflecting our wonderfulness, weirdness, and weakness. Both our shortcomings and saintliness are reflected in our relationships. This can make them both exhilarating and exhausting. For most women, the term casual relationship, for any with a smidgen of personal depth, is an oxymoron.


Of course, your major relationship is with yourself, and your strength is stabilized when founded on self-love and respect. But, because we concentrate on self-awareness, self-love, and self-compassion throughout the entire book, this chapter focuses mostly on your relationships with others.

Excerpted from The Woman's Book of Strength by Sue Patton Thoele. Available on Mango and Amazon.

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