Relationships with partners, mentors, muses and figments

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Being better together is part of healthy relationships. Without one of the two something possible is suddenly not. Life in general has always struck me as an endless list of Choose Your Own Adventure. Pick something, live it and pick another. Anything is possible and some of the best choices are who we pick to connect with, to relate to.

We automatically get our parents, regardless of their availability and quality. No matter their condition, parents form foundational psychological artifacts creating a relationship. The impossibility was your existence and any psychological reality they provided you with, at a minimum their absence or presence.

An obvious relationship is that of the significant other, the wife, husband, girl-friend, boy-friend or lover. These are the people with whom you are truly better with than without and the one that society will identify as your other half. Together quality of life is often enhanced and more psychological artifacts are created, offering future possibilities to work through our reality and conceptions therein. We hope this person will deliver the trust, security and love it requires to break down deeper fears and barriers to wonderment.

Other fantastic relationships are those who are our mentors. Mentors are objects in the mirror that are closer than they appear. They are often individuals who can see something about you that you desire for yourself or they know you need and can help you achieve. In business, mentors are invaluable. They should be sought after even more in life. Even the bad ones teach some of the best lessons. The best transform in a way that no one else could – the envy of a significant other, the one who desires to be all things to their partner. While a significant other might be a mentor, they tend not to have the objectivity or know-how to articulate the required personal change. Mentors are often reverse mentored receiving from the relationship, not just giving. Together, both individuals have the opportunity to grow, create some more psychological artifacts, hopefully more building blocks than plaque.

Muses are a bit tricky. A muse inspires. Together the fruits of that inspiration better the world, regardless of the significance. The psychological artifacts come from both the interactions with the muse and the resulting product of the inspiration. For some a muse helps create better poetry and art. In other instances it is a significant other inspiring to create a better life, be a better person. Mentors could be muses, both helping move in a specific direction and acting as the model and inspiration for how to execute (i.e. how to act a certain way by replicating seen behavior). They can be people we do not know well or those who are our closest friends. Muses are important to have so that we may dream the next turn in our adventure instead of just turning the page to find out what happens.

Figments are things of our own creation. We are the lone creators of the psychological artifact. They help articulate the relationship we have with ourselves. Figments can be dreams or visualizations of our how we want the world to be.

One of the best questions I recently started asking of any relationship, is why am I looking for something here instead of somewhere else. It forces you to articulate the purpose of your actions and identify meaning specific to this relationship and in turn, the connections you have with others. With the multitude of relationships we create in the world, knowing why we seek the company of one and not another can deepen our understanding and connection to all.