People Growing Machines

People Growing Machines

Dec 16, 2021

The profound, paradigm shifting framework of relationships put forward by Dr. David Schnarch says that relationships are not meant to be sanctuaries of comfort and happiness.

They are meant to be “people growing machines.”

The dominant narrative of North American therapies say that relationships are sites where wounded children come out to resolve their pain, to get the love they never got but desperately seek- and while there is absolutely a sliver of truth in this, regarding them in this way does a grave disservice to the true nature of relationships.

Because relationships are actually a site for the lifelong cognitive growth and development of human beings.

As Schnarch calls them- “people growing machines.”

The conflicts that arise in relationships are often not evidence of fundamental flaws, of brokenness, of incompatibilities.

Rather, they are mirrors in which we can witness ourselves on a deeper level, take stock of who we are and who we wish to be, and integrate that vision of our aspirations into the fabric of who we are- in action, in relationship.

We learn to know ourselves deeply. We learn to stand our ground. We learn to be adventurous and try new things. We confront ourselves to see what ways we can go deeper both in unwavering commitment to ourselves, and in intimacy with our beloved.

This is hardly a tale of weakness and wounding. This is a tale of heroism and growth.

Growth that many may tragically miss out on as they wonder what is so wrong with them that they experience times of profound discord and division in their relationships.

We all have wounded inner children, and attending to them is a compassionate thing to do, and an excellent way to connect to yourself on a deeper level.

But do not buy into the lie that the success of our love and connection to others lies solely in that work.

The success of our love and connection to others lies in our ability to live courageously.