What is a relationship? Astrid Merkt explains

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We are all paint cans, and our life is our Canvas.

Before I go into talking about relationships, ask yourself how you define a relationship?

Although you may have all included another person as part of the answer to that question, the most important relationship you will have in your lifetime, is the relationship with yourself. Any connection you form will stem from the relationship with your inner being. Through a combination of your environment and your innate disposition you develop your internal narrative of stories you tell yourself and ideas you believe about yourself. The respect you hold for yourself is your opinion of your self worth and value, and thoughts of what you believe others perceive you as. These opinions you have of who you believe to be are reflected to the outer world. It affects the people you attract and in turn the interactions you experience with them.

“I’m not what I think I am. I’m not who you think I am. I am who I think you think I am” – George Cooley

Yup…if someone bumps into you and spills your coffee, or the server at the restaurant decides to give you a complimentary dessert, these are all interactions that you created by what energy and thoughts you put out. When you feel happy and believe that you have everything you need to continue improving, enjoying, and growing through life, one can say that you feel “Complete”. You hold a sense of being whole and thus you won’t go seeking validation from somebody else. This positive relationship with yourself results in you feeling happy with who you are and most importantly in feeling complete. Thus any interaction with another human being will be one that is complementary for you. You will attract and match up with others who also feel the same. Two complete individuals come together to share what they have to offer, rather than depend on what the other can give them.

This is the key to healthy and flourishing relationships. When you have so much love for yourself that it has no choice but to ooze out and infect others, you will be able to feel the happiness and joy that comes with the art of living.

On the other spectrum, when you feel like you need someone to make you feel happy, or to boost your self esteem, or to berrage you with gifts to feel loved, you are seeking someone to fill a void. You are engaging with another to help you feel complete. When coming into interactions with others from a point of scarcity, you will often match with someone who is also incomplete, or with someone who will soon feel empty as they are overly giving. Those who feel so full and always give will soon find it is not sustainable, and soon will find themselves depleted and drained.

So think of yourself as a paint can, and your life is your art canvas. You are born with a color of paint, and you are like a can of paint that is initially full with that color you are born with. As you go about becoming a participant in life, your immediate family, such as your mother and father, create the first of many relationships. They too are a can of paint, with a color of their own. When a bond is formed between two people, each one brings a color of paint to the relationship and an additional color is added to your palate of paint to create the canvas of your life. As an example, you are born with the color red. Your mother is the color yellow, and your father is the color blue. As you come into the relationship from a point of abundance, you come into a healthy relationship and exchange of colors. Your mother provides you with some of her yellow paint, and you in return give some of your red to her. Both of you now have added the color orange to your palate of colors in addition to some yellow or red. Your father provides some of his blue paint that is constantly overflowing from his full can, so you both now create the new color of violet, in addition with blue to your ever growing colors of paint to paint your art piece on your canvas of life.

When two people that are just as complete find each other, the exchange is complementary. It is complementary in a sense that you are creating a masterpiece of a painting for your life using your own colors without a lack of paint. Yet with experiences and interactions, you can add new colors to paint with, but are never in ‘need’ of new paint. WHen you feel complete, your cans of paint are overflowing with color, and you are able to blend together and exchange your richness with others to create powerful color combinations.

In contrast, when you are not feeling fulfilled, and areas of your life are not complete by your own thoughts, actions, and accomplishments, you will be continuously running dry of paint, and feel unable to continue painting on your canvas. If your paint is not full, how are you able to give away some of your own paint color to blend and share with others?

When your can is running low, you will depend on others to provide you with paint. When you do not make it a priority to keep your paint can full and you allow your paint to go dry due to lack of self care, you will find it hard to continue painting your life’s canvas. This is when you become emotionally drained, fatigued, irritable, unmotivated and at many times lose focus and direction. You will find difficulties to add new artwork on your canvas of life, and you will either find yourself constantly draining someone else dry of their paint can, or struggling to keep your own paint cans full if you don’t take care of yourself first before being there for others.

Keeping your paint cans full and feeling complete is not always easy. You must always seek what sparks you joy inside. Then you must find yourself thinking about it, and then look for situations that bring you happiness . Discover what makes you feel good, and participate in experiences that evoke you joy. Now with a full and radiant can you are ready to exchange your colors with others that are also oozing out of their paint cans.

Emotions are contagious, and when you are in a good feeling place, you will also attract other alike. When you are radiating a plethora of colors from a place of being complete, your rainbow will be seen from miles away. So make sure you keep you paint cans full…so full that you are oozing out an abundance of colors to share with and interact with others. Be the artist of your own masterpiece of your canvas of life.

Do you want to improve your mindset and ensure your paint cans are full? Are you feeling frustrated with your current relationships or situation? A holistic approach to coaching and therapy can give you the support and guidance to help you reach your fullness. Sometimes a new set of tools in your skills box can shift your perspective and transform habits to optimize the way you feel, think and move. If you have further inquiries, or would like to set up an appointment with Astrid Merkt, please contact us at Balance Health to get you started in creating your best masterpiece of life.

This article is written by Astrid Merkt. 

To book an appointment with Astrid, please call: +852 2530 3315 or email: appt@balancehealth.com.hk 


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