Let’s face it. Relationships are difficult enough. Have you ever wondered if there is an easier way to know what a “Healthy” relationship looks like? The relationship tree is one way that may help to understand what a healthy relationship is. It is broken down into three main parts. The roots of the tree represent you, as an individual, the trunk represents the communication (a two-way flow of information between others and ourselves) and finally the foliage (leaves/fruits) show the healthy relationships that has been formed.
The Roots (you):
The roots of a tree provide the strength and foundation of a tree. In nature, the tree pulls water and minerals in through the roots from the soil, which travels up the trunk and out to the foliage (leaves/fruits). In the relationship tree, the roots represent the five main characteristics that we need to possess to nurture a healthy relationship. These five roots are “High Self-Esteem,” “Trust,” “Respect for Others,” “Honesty” and “Openness.” Without these five qualities, we are unable to form and nurture an intimate healthy relationship with others, as well as receive and nurture these qualities in ourselves.
The trunk of the tree has several purposes. First, it acts as a support system for the rest of the tree. Second, it acts a plumbing system, which carries water and minerals up from the roots to the leaves, and food (sugar) from the leaves down into the branches, trunk, and out the roots into the soil. In the relationship tree trunk of the tree represents communication. Communication, like the trunk of the tree, is a two-way flow of information. Communication is the means by which different skills are used to share information with another individual (or groups of individuals). These can be done through several means: verbal (face-to-face, telephone, radio or television and other media), non-verbal (body language, gestures, how we dress or act – even our scent), written (letters, notes, emails, books and magazines) and electronic (texting, emojis, social media and hashtags).
The foliage (leaves/fruit):
The foliage represents the relationship that has grown as a result of the nurtured roots, soil and trunk of the tree. In nature, the leaves play the role of cooling the tree down, remove carbon dioxide (CO2) and release oxygen (O2) into the air. Similarly, when we are in relationships we remove loneliness, sadness (at times) and the need to be in relationship with others. Healthy relationships also help to increase support and the feeling of being connected.
While the relationship tree is the basis for a healthy relationship, it is not as easy as possessing the qualities the tree shows. In nature, many trees do not flourish or live a long healthy life, just like our human connections. There is no one aspect to make a relationship healthy, but the more we are able to build ourselves up the better equipped we will be to experience healthier relationships.
If you are in need of help with your relationship, please consider contacting me for a brief conversation.