Relationships - of all kinds - are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold onto some of it, but most will be spilled. A relationship is like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, to possessively, and the relationships slips away and is lost.
Responsibility of any kind can seem intimidating and for this reason man may often be afraid of truly deep relationships with other human beings. A relationship suggests to him the most extreme of responsibilities. It implies a burden, a restriction of freedom, seldom the converse. A student in love class, for instance, commented, “I’ve always been afraid of deep relationship because of the responsibility it seemed to impose. I was afraid of the demands it would make of me and I worried I wouldn’t be able to meet those demands. I was amazed to find that when I did get the courage to form a relationship, I actually became stronger. I acquired two minds instead of one, four hands, four arms, four legs, and another’s world. In joining forces with someone, I got twice the strength to grow, with twice as many alternatives. Now it’s easier for me to love others. I am stronger and I am less afraid.” He had discovered an important insight.