Sunday, June 15, 2014

Tribute to Relationships

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath
Thank you mom!

I would like to dedicate today’s article to my mother who passed away on Tuesday 6/10/2014. She was a loving mother in ways most would not recognize.  I know that my parents played the most significant role in the person that I am today and I am so grateful for all they have been to me. My mother will always be in my heart and thank you for everything mom! She was and always will be my first relationship…

This leads into relationships and our health and happiness. When I was interviewing the experts in the Adrenal Summit, two of the experts made a point of bringing up the importance of quality relationships in your life to assist with your overall health and happiness. Dr Daniel Kalish discussed this in the kick off interview. I remember him mentioning that a healthy communicative relationship was one of the keys to healthy adrenal function. Dr Jonny Bowden also mentioned the importance of healthy relationships when we were discussing the cortisol/insulin connection. Both of these men are not only leaders in their fields but both have hearts of gold and passion for life.

So really, how important are your relationships across the board? They play such a significant role because they can make or break the foundation of your fundamentals of health which is tied into energy. Now this energy is not energy that one would use to pick up a weight or go for a run, this energy can be categorized as vibrational, spiritual or perhaps the movement of “light” through your body. I cannot begin to tell you how many names I have heard this called; chi, qi, prana, life force, vital force, God, Buddha, Allah, Jesus Christ, the universe and this list goes on. To me, what each of us categorize or call this energy is a personal choice for each and every one of us. But regardless of what you categorize or call this energy, this needs to flow through you in every moment to be in your best of health and heightened states of happiness.

For clients of mine or those that have heard me discuss this in the past, this is when I would typically bring up patterns of suppressed emotions but I may be looking at this differently in this moment, recognizing that much of what is going on inside of us emotionally is built on relationships. So how are your relationships? Are they troubled, dysfunctional, non-communicative and full of blame and judgment or are they alive, rewarding, highly communicative and full of acceptance and unconditional love? As any of us read this, myself included, it is essential that we look at our relationships as a predictor of our overall health and happiness. I have seen my own personal challenges in the past with relationships and recognize that even if I am focused on my functional health, my relationships can easily throw the best laid plan for health right out the window.

I would be willing to bet that as many read the previous paragraph, judgment of another’s inability to communicate and enhance your relationship has likely come up. Trust me, I have judged others in my life the same way (and still do at times), but somehow I see this in a different light right now. You see, it is not others in our life that create challenges with our relationships and our health, we truly have to look deep within ourselves. Not that other people do not play their own role because they do. But perhaps we have to ask who we are to recognize why we have picked the situations and relationships, so in essence, it still comes back to us.

I understand this clearer looking back at my own mother’s life. While I do not know my mother’s entire detailed history, it is easy to recognize that she was raised in a less than loving environment with little teachings of relationships herself. She did not hug with purpose and compassion, she often “lost herself” in of all things, soap operas for most of her life and honestly, I do not recall ever hearing “I love you” from my mother until I was 48 years old. While that may sound sad or appalling to some, I now truly see and understand that my mother was the best mother that she was capable of being and she showed love in every level that she understood. What I learned and continue to learn from this is that my relationships are up to me. There really could be no blame or judgment of my mother, only love and compassion. After all, isn’t that all we truly want from those in our lives, love and compassion?

In essence, when we are looking at our relationships and we are judging and blaming others, perhaps it would be best to provide some love and compassion and truly be the change that we want to see in our lives and in our relationships. And please do not mistaken my words as if I am the expert in this. I am still learning and growing on this level and have a long way to go and I accept this. Any of my clients reading this, you know that I always say that acceptance is the beginning of change in yourself. That is where your world and your relationships change, in yourself, beginning with self acceptance. What a concept, accepting of the relationship that you have for yourself.

So when you look at your relationships, whether this is a spouse, child, parent, friend, coworker, mailman or simply the person you stand behind in line at Starbucks, “be” the relationship that you want to receive and watch your health and your world change.

I actually witnessed this in my father over the last couple of years as he was the primary caretaker for my mother as she laid in a hospital bed in the living room of my childhood home. He fed her, changed her diapers, share with her lovingly, caressed her cheek and even rubbed noses with her saying that they were kissing like Eskimos. I have never witnessed my father treat my mother this way in the past, but he was taking it upon himself to be the change that he wanted to see in his life. Witnessing this and recognizing how I can learn from this personally is potentially life altering for me and for anyone. Again, “be” the change you want to see in your life.

So if you really want to create change in yourself, your health, your life and your happiness, look at your relationships. And if you do not like what you see, be that change within yourself and watch the world change around you. If you see a troubled, dysfunctional, non-communicative relationship that is full of blame and judgment, look at how you can do this differently within yourself first and make the choice to treat yourself and others in your life to create relationships that are they alive, rewarding, highly communicative and full of acceptance and unconditional love.

Practice this every day and build healthy relationships with yourself, whatever you consider your “source”, your spouse, parents, children, friends, coworkers, the other person in line and even the homeless person out on the street. As you accumulate healthy relationships in your life, you will accumulate health and happiness in your life.

Start this today, right now and do not judge yourself or others for the past.  Your past does not dictate your future, your choices today dictate your future, and you get to choose!

Thank you once again mom for everything you have been for me and playing such a significant role in who I am today. You’ve taught me things that I could not have learned anywhere else…

By the way, thank you for never telling dad I broke the window on the front door with my skateboard. LOL!


  1. What a beautiful testimony of love and acceptance for your mom!!

  2. So worth sharing and thank you for sharing. My relationship with my mother is very similar and I do know she did the best she knew how too. It was wonderful seeing you yesterday. You are a very good man.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Maureen. It was awesome to see both yourself and Scott and thank you for being there for me...

  3. Thank you for sharing your tribute to your mother and your father.
    Many of us grew up without the hugs and I love you comments that are so heart warming. My parents never experienced that from their parents but they did the best they could.
    The unconditional love your father showed for your mother was touching. It shows that each of us is able to change.
    Instead of judging it is so important for us to live lives of love. What we put out does come back. Living from the heart with love and compassion is its own reward.

    1. Thank you for sharing as you have. I always hold the space that the life's lessons that I can share can also benefit others. Thanks again for your share!

  4. Sorry to hear your Mom has died - that is a very big event... and we have no way in our culture to mark it in the most meaningful of ways. Go well with it. Kind regards, Alfiah

  5. Condolences to you and your family on the passing of your Mom but so happy to hear of the shared love you had for each other. I am reading a book by Fulton J. Sheen - Way To Happiness and under chapter called spirit of forgiveness, he wrote the following:- " that hatred is a dangerous emotion to encourage. It can even become a physical poison; an English medical journal reported the case of a mother whose hatred of her husband affected her milk and poisoned the baby she was nursing. Anger and hatred can also affect the digestive processes, causing dyspepsia and ulcers." Love always wins, so forgive those who have hurt you so that you can enjoy today.

    1. Thank you so much for that amazing share and I could not have said it better myself...

  6. I think it should be noted that just as healthy relationships can make you physically healthier, unhealthy or toxic relationships can make you unhealthy or even sick.