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Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Relationships matter

By Carmen Hubbs
Special to The SUN

How would you define your relationship, say, with your boss?

How would you define it with your neighbor or kids?

Would you say you have a relationship with the cashier at the convenience store?

Relationships have levels, right? Levels of how much you put into them, how much you get back from them, their level of importance to you, or no thought at all beyond the 30-second interaction when you’re swiping your debit card.

But, relationships matter and are in every aspect of our lives.

Relationships matter because they have an impact on our everyday lives. They bring us the most complete joy and the most complete pain.

This October, for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program (ACVAP) is celebrating healthy relationships. Not just our marital or intimate relationships, but the positive relationships we share with our children (including the furry ones), our friends and companions, our co-workers and even those we hardly know.

Relationships matter because they affect us in ways no other interaction can. As human beings we survive on our social engagements. We need relationships; positive interactions make us thrive, makes us want to be better human beings for ourselves and others. The power of positive interaction is immense. Think of the last time you just weren’t in the best mental space. Imagine how quickly that negative space could’ve been turned around by one simple, positive gesture from someone. A simple smile, kiss and affirmation from your partner, a quick phone call from a friend or even a friendly exchange with a stranger. Healthy relationships matter.

Today, begin working on bringing more positive exchanges to yourself. Start by looking in the mirror and telling yourself, “I love you.” Then, make a pact with yourself: you are going to consciously work toward as many positive exchanges as you can each day. Start with your most precious relationships, or if there is strife there, work on friendly exchanges with strangers — even a simple, genuine smile will brighten your day and theirs. Put a positive twist on whatever you can. Then, end your day with gratitude. Even if it didn’t feel like the best day, you have one simple thing to be grateful for — that you are here and you are loved. Mindful efforts to seek and deliver positive exchanges will build relationships that matter. Try it and you’ll reap the benefits. I promise.

ACVAP congratulates you on your healthy relationships. Celebrate each one of them because, while they take work, they are immensely meaningful. Healthy relationships are a key to happiness we all deserve.

ACVAP builds relationships 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We believe in healthy relationships, we work toward building peaceful, safe relationships, and we strive for all relationships to be without violence — because relationships matter.

This story was posted on October 3, 2013.