I like talking to individual clients and couples about the idea that were all just big babies. Sure, our physical and cognitive abilities are different, but our emotional and relational needs are basically the same from cradle to grave.
Someone who spoke to me as a kid, and still speaks to me today, can hopefully speak to you too. Here are some quotes that stand out me on the subject of love and relationships, from a wise but unexpected adult relationship guru, Mr. Rogers.
"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people."
"Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like “struggle.” To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now."
"If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person."
"We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes."
"People have said, “Don’t cry” to other people for years and years, and all it has ever meant is, “I’m too uncomfortable when you show your feelings. Don’t cry.” I’d rather have them say, “Go ahead and cry. I’m here to be with you.”
"There is no normal life that is free of pain. It’s the very wrestling with our problems that can be the impetus for our growth."
"I don’t think anyone can grow unless he’s loved exactly as he is now, appreciated for what he is rather than what he will be."
"Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone."
"In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers."
"There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind."