The bedrock of healthy relationships is no One Thing. It’s a variety of beautiful and messy things, not easily classified by science.
But one ingredient that goes by different names is the sense that the person next to you values you as a person. That even if your face changed, or your heart fell apart, or you stopped laughing at their jokes and you lost it all, they would still value you, simply because you ARE.
To know that someone thinks, under the outward that is easily assessed and found lacking, that I have Value. That’s freedom.
I can bring nothing to the table but a mess, and under that mess, they see Value. And they will get their hands dirty helping me dig through the mess on the table because they believe in the (hidden) good stuff.
It’s rare. It’s like being liberated from within. It’s a space of peace. And that freedom, knowing that my value in their eyes is settled, it’s not getting moved by my bad behavior or performance, it strengthens me to truly live freely from bad behavior or performance.
Not because I Should….because I Can.
That’s the space freedom creates. It creates room for the hidden value to become Real.