Originally published October 19, 2020
The phrase that comes to mind lately is ‘a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime’. I feel like things are always changing as are the relationships that enter my life.
I’ve been really noticing the energy and effort I have put or have not put into certain relationships these days. From this I’ve noticed who feeds my tank and who doesn’t. As well, I’ve also noticed why.
It’s funny, having awareness has been a big journey over the last few years. Awareness about how and why I behave the way I do, the beliefs I have and how my experience or lack thereof truly impact my decisions. Doing things differently, challenging the old stand by beliefs and just ‘going with the flow’ because it’s easier than creating my own way. What a crock! I can’t believe how long I’ve lived there, I can’t believe how incredibly miserable past relationships (family, friends, partners) have made me because of the choices I made. The remarks I’ve dismissed, the behaviors I’ve justified for others or avoiding the whole situation because ‘taking the high road’ and not saying anything was the best advice I could think of.
Fast forward to today. I literally have to stop, pause for a moment and give myself permission to express, with kindness always, how I feel or what I think. Expressions in terms of questions is the kindest way I know how to communicate with others. Silence to allow one to process also is a new tool I use often. Communication has become important to the point where I automatically have to take a breath first, almost to calm the ‘sassy’ or ugly words so I can speak compassionately and respectfully. Too often I’ve held my tongue to keep the peace. Too often I’ve tried to say my peace but it comes out not the least bit confidently or very passive. I used to say, yeah okay and walk with my head looking at the ground in shame. I did not feel valued, even by myself to communicate that to others.
I took a poll of those I choose to have around me the other day. The poll was listed in categories of season, reason and lifetime. I can tell you, I was super surprised by my totally, wholehearted responses. But after some reflection, it was crystal clear. I am grateful for those who ‘participated’ in my life or still participate in my life for a reason. I have learned many lessons to those who came into my life for a season. It is only up until about 2 weeks ago I know who will remain in my lifetime relationships. How do I know that, how do I decide? It’s actually super easy. Who fills my tank? Who takes from my tank?
There is always, and must be an exchange between people in any relationship. It can never be one 100% receiving and one 100% taking, there must be a balanced exchange. From those questions above, it was perfectly clear. What was even more surprising was when I could really establish those relationships, I felt relieved. I felt relieved that my feelings of ‘responsibility’ and ‘obligation’ faded away. I no longer had to feel like I HAD to keep the relationship going. It wasn’t up to just me anymore. Can you imagine how that feels?
In no way would I ever suggest you start cutting away relationships on my word, but merely reflect on what effort you spend on the relationships you have. Is there a mutual, respectful exchange of energy? Does the relationship actually fill your tank or does it take away?
Important things to ponder in this day and age of relationships.
I truly want to eliminate all hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness and cynicism by developing love for all. The love I develop also includes love for myself.
Let the beauty of what you see be you!