Sitting on my patio among the fallen leaves on a peaceful sunny November afternoon, I’m reviewing my writings from the summer and early fall. Do I dare share them and allow my most personal thoughts out into the world? I think I will — in the service of becoming as authentic as I possibly can be.

I’m happy here, learning by remembering. I move so quickly through the world that what matters most slips away.

I’m talking about relationships tomorrow. When I talk about anything, it’s my presence that counts. It’s not so much about the information, but about my ability to help others feel that they’re seen, heard and accepted — essentially to create a relationship with them.

And that, after all is the essence of a good relationship — the mutual experience of being seen, heard and accepted by another.

Whether it’s a parent and a child.

Whether it’s a husband or wife.

Whether it’s a business associate — a grandchild — a sister or brother or an old friend.

Do you see me — know me? How do you let me know that I am being known?

Do you hear me — what I’m not saying as well as what I am saying — what I really mean?

Do you accept me as OK just as I am? Or judge that I need to change before I can become acceptable?

Is it me or my behavior or my reflected glory that counts with you?

Even when I see you and hear you and accept you, you sometimes don’t get it and protect yourself (from what?) by rejecting me.

And sometimes, even when I desperately need your acceptance, I can’t get through to you to let you know. I can’t pierce my own barriers let alone yours — so I stay lonesome.

Relationship is a dance. We must do it with each other.

Come… dance with me.

Is this you? “I don’t need therapy, but I could use some advice about…”