We are all relationship experts, right? I mean, when it comes to giving our friends and family advice on stinky relationships, we’ve got it covered. “Free expert advice right here, sista! Whether you want it or not!” We’ve got non-stop opinions about their “stuff.”
But wait. What about our own smelly stuff? Should we really be giving advice on something we haven’t addressed in our own life?
There a few things I know for sure, based on my own experience with the relationships in my life. It is these things that I’m going to share with you; perhaps there are a few you may want to look at and incorporate into your relationship life, too.
Try it. Or don’t. It’s all good in the hood.
I will tell you this, though… I experienced a beautiful blossoming effect once I started consciously making and working at these choices. It takes some effort and devotion, yes. It might involve getting your hands a little dirty. But, ya know what? In the end, it’s totally worth it.
Free yourself of the wrong people: We will likely out-grow some of the people who are in our lives. If we have outgrown them, yet we still allow them to be tied to our space, we need to just stop. We need to free ourselves of all that unnecessary crap and cut the ties. Every friendship or relationship in your life should be full of GOOD. No, no… scrap that… it should be full of GREAT. Anyone who lifts us up, brings out our best and adds to our life would probably count as “great.” And, if they act like more of a jackass than the awesome friend that is deserved, why would we want to keep them in our worthy life, anyway? We are all worth more than somebody’s scraps and leftovers.
Let go of those who are gone: If someone has left you, all you can do is move in the direction of healing; free yourself from carrying that heavy emptiness. Life is so much easier if we travel forward with out carrying the baggage and hurt of the past. If they are gone, let them be gone. Hold onto the good memories, but remember memories are still to be made. We each have so many people in our life that love us and want to share in our time. Let those who are gone be gone. And then, be more completely present with the ones who are still by your side.
Encourage and cheer: Sometimes, in relationships – whether it be with siblings, friends or romantic – things get predictable and routine, and we just assume that the people we adore know that we support them and want them to win in life. However, we should all become more of a cheerleader for our friends and family. Speak up and say more. Show more. Hug more. Purposely try to make them feel special and important. Get a little crazy and do a funky little dance. Why not? If these folks are the ones you love the most, why do they get the least amount of praise? Love them out loud and as creatively as possible.
Always nurture the relationship with yourself: Decide this minute to never again beg another person for the love, respect, and attention that you should and WILL start showing your bad ass self. Life is defined by how its lived, not whom it is lived with. Start defining YOU by loving you. Be someone who makes YOU happy. It may take time to build a relationship with you, and that’s okay. Great accomplishments and relationships don’t happen overnight. Just remember, we cannot make someone love or respect us; all we can do is be someone who can be respected. How to do we do this? First off, we can respect ourselves and love ourselves so completely that others will have no choice but to rise to the standards that are set. If they don’t rise to the occasion? See tip number one, about cutting the crappy people out. Adios amigo!
Set boundaries: As kick ass human rockstars, we don’t need anyone who doesn’t need us; no chasing allowed. We each need to set up boundaries, to keep ourselves in line and also to prevent ourselves from being walked all over. None of us would choose to give up our dignity and self-respect for any relationship, right? Then know when enough is enough, for you. Know that you have boundaries and standards that you won’t break. And when we stand by these boundaries, so will everyone else in our life. If we can’t keep promises to ourselves, than why would anyone else? Set boundaries up and stick to it, superstar. We can do it.
Show gratitude: Routine and predictability can again leave the people who do the most for us, with the littlest thanks. Speak up and say thank you to the people in your life. And mean it. Know that a little gratitude goes a long way. It’s simple and it’s doable. And it’s time to start doing it and your life will start changing. Your attitude towards life will shift and blossom, and any relationship you are engaged in will definitely feel the positive ripple effects of that energy.
Pursue some good ol’ quality you time: What I know for sure, is that the best way to take care of somebody else, is to take care of yourself, first. You, me, each of us… we are a priority. In fact, you should be your first priority. Just liked I should be my first priority. Think of the safety demonstrations on airplanes, right before take off, they tell us to first secure our own mask, before attempting to help others put theirs on. We must help ourselves in life first, in order to be of any use to other people who need you. Try practicing this, even if it’s just in baby steps everyday. You matter. Your needs and desires matter. Never forget this.
Lighten the load: Just because someone loves and supports us, doesn’t mean they can be our only and everything. We need to have a life outside of them. Yes, your boyfriend is likely your best friend and biggest fan. But to be your only and everything? Yikes. No pressure there. How about we all spread the love out. Enlist your friends, family and coworkers. We can’t expect one person to be responsible for all our shit. They have their own. Yes, they will probably want to be there to help our in times of need (Hooray! We have good people in our life!), but that doesn’t mean we need to let them be responsible for our entire world.
Sending love, hugs and butt slaps…