Whether you are in a romantic relationship or are examining your friendships, there are certain guiding principles to consider
By Judith E. Lipson, M.A., LPC
When you find yourself complaining about the people in your life, it may be time to take a look at the self that you bring to relationships. When you improve your self-worth, you are better able to bring your best self to any relationship!
- Don’t betray yourself and don’t negotiate your integrity. Compromise is fine when it is done willingly, but don’t agree to something to be “the nice person”.
- Advertise your strength: Whether seated or standing hold yourself tall, use a confident voice, breathe from your power center (your solar plexus located above the navel), feel as if your feet are firmly connected to Earth, draw your shoulders down away from your ears.
- Know who you are so that you can attract those you want (friends, partners, business associates).
- Don’t settle. Don’t tolerate another’s disrespect.
- Respect yourself and make this clear to others by how you dress, move and speak.
- Your Inner Child might be cautious or angry because of past events. Take care of yourself and your Inner Child will respond. Treat him/her compassionately and assure the Inner Child that s/he is safe now.
When your inner-self (who you are and how you really feel) is in alliance with your outer-self (the person that presents to others), others will respond to your authenticity and you will draw more people of quality into your life. Actively increase your friend base by bringing people into your life that make you happy and support you, just as you support them.
Want to change the dynamics of a friendship that you now realize is not good for you, but you still need (or want) to be in relationship with them? The tendency is to look at how the other has harmed you, disrespected you, or used you. And while all that may be true, I encourage you to see how you can affect this relationship. Boundaries are more about you and your expectation than about the other individual. When YOU have the expectation, YOU know that you are defining this relationship differently. This will bring you that authentic ‘power’, which has always been yours.
To actively begin to create this change, consider the following. In each occurrence with this friend you may choose:
- Will I go? (Or let them come over?)
- Will I participate in this particular topic of discussion?
- Will I engage the same way that I used to?
- Will I spend as much time as I used to?
Be ready to firmly and politely hold your ground (inwardly, as well as to the other) to uphold the response you want. Remember it is important that it be firm, respectful and calm so that the other can hear your message.
ENDING A RELATIONSHIP
Have you decided that it is time to fully release a relationship? I know it’s hard. You were so happy and you felt so good when you were together. You want it all back: the person, the happiness, the serenity, everything. It seems to all be rolled into one beautiful uncomplicated package: HIM (or her). Of course, you have already forgotten about the complications of your relationship: the disappointments, the arguments, the tension and the drama. What you do want back is your contentment and the buzz of love.
If a relationship has ended and you find yourself pining for the other, recognize that much of what you miss is the exuberance, love and creativity that you felt while you were together. The great news is that this state of happiness, that you feel was lost, is still there. It has been yours all along. Your partner had provided you the gift of being a mirror of who you really are. It’s not the partner who is necessary for you to continue to experience yourself; it’s you.
The ease in letting go comes when you realize that your relationship provided a mirror to know yourself. The warm feelings that you had for your partner were real, but they were also you experiencing your own nature, and the love you have for yourself. It could be this that is missed. It was really you all along. Remember that you don’t need another to make you whole. You never did. A relationship isn’t two people coming together to form one. It is two people who come together to share life. It is within this model that you support each other through life’s experiences and find added opportunities to appreciate yourself. This mirror is the gift that your loved one provided to you.
Now it’s time to reclaim you! Find an expression of your soul’s creativity in activities that used to bring you joy. This might be art, dance, music, volunteering, or time in nature. Any activity that helps you remember your True Self will help you to let go. Welcome back to your life!
Judy Lipson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and educational strategist in West Bloomfield, MI. She helps clients of all ages who have learning difficulties, work or school related anxiety, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorders, and those who wish to Remember and Become ‘Who You Really Are’. Contact Judy at 248.568.8665 and email@example.com, and visit www.SpiralWisdom.net for more information.
This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to replace medical care.