Tag Archives: relationships

Checking In On My Relationship With Trust

The beginning of 2015, I wrote a post on my intention to work with trust this year. Well, we are halfway through the year (can you believe it?) and I want to update you on my experience and where I’m at right now.

I’m not one to sugarcoat, never have been, and likely never will be: it’s been at best a road filled with unexpected speed bumps and at worst a struggle that has implanted a very real desire to curl into my insides and emotionally/mentally/geographically run away from anything or anyone that requires me to trust.

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How to Drive Yourself Crazy

I’m convinced that I’ve discovered the key to instant insanity. Yes, it’s upsetting that I didn’t come across hidden gold instead, but information is useful, so I’ll take it.

If you’ve had too much peace lately and want some crazy in your life, the fastest way to get yourself there is…you ready for this?

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Hey, Don’t Take it Personally

*Disclaimer: This post does not address/condone criminal behavior, as we have much to improve on as a society. Its focus is on individual healing and not on ethics.

I once dated a guy who repeatedly told me that “people are all just doing the best that they can through life.” And, every time he said those words to me, it would drive me crazy. I’ve always thought that phrase is a cop out, an excuse to not do better, be kinder, to try harder.

But, once I started looking for more substance in the phrase, I was able to make peace with it by understanding that one intention behind it is to convey that people don’t act to inconvenience you. Their actions are based on their story, not yours.

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Love Series: How Do We Keep the Relationship Alive?

Wrapping up our love series, Melody from Naked Wellness shares her thoughts on taking our partners for granted. If you missed our last series post on the essence of love, you can find it here.

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For the last month or so, I’ve been thinking about that transition that happens in romantic relationships, when we go from the excitement of falling in love and getting to know each other to that space of ‘going steady,’ as they used to say.

It’s a funny space, no?

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The Weight of Expectations

One of the hardest lessons to learn (and that unfortunately pesters us until we do) is freeing ourselves from expectations.

It is a difficult lesson because expectations that we place on ourselves, those that we place on others, and even the ones that we’ve been brought up with, our cultural norms, are omnipresent.

How many times have you heard that if you work very hard, you’ll achieve your goals? There is an expectation that if you invest energy in an endeavor, you will be rewarded with your desired outcome. Oftentimes our cultural norms teach us that having expectations is a healthy approach to life.

But, we can all recall far too many instances where either we or someone we know has followed all the rules, put forth the work, and still has not received the anticipated ending.

I’m not pointing this out to devalue the importance of having goals or to threaten motivation, but, rather,  to highlight how when we concentrate on expectations instead of the process of working towards the goal, we lose sight of the experience.

When we refuse to be open to the results that follow efforts, we face disappointment if the results don’t align with the expectation that we envisioned. In other words, when we are not open to organic results, we set the stage for deflation.

Sometimes the expectations that we create in our mind, the expectations that we place on ourselves, are unrealistic. Yet, we attach ourselves to those expectations because we convince ourselves that the effort that we invest will only have been worthwhile if we accomplish something grandiose.

When we cling to an expectation, we don’t leave any room to appreciate what we do get. We stunt our growth by dismissing the opportunities that are placed in front of us.

We become so wrapped up in our persistence in forcing our expectation that we pass up the chance to explore the value in what authentically results.

We do not only do this with the expectations that we place on ourselves, but we do it with the expectations that we place on others as well.

When we don’t relinquish ourselves of those expectations that we place on others it is just as detrimental.

The minute that we construe expectations when relating to others is the moment that we create an unhealthy relationship.

When we expect another person to act, react, or feel a certain way, we set ourselves up for disappointment and we dilute our relationship.

In ignoring the need to respect others’ individuality and independence, we neglect the possibility to know someone for who they truly are.  It is only when we create the space to allow others to be themselves that we can get a feel for whether or not they fit into our lives.

Similarly, we oftentimes expect others to understand our needs or to be on the same page as we are, without even realizing that that is what we are doing. Then, when others do not show up for us or do not behave how we would expect them to, we feel hurt.

In reality, we have a responsibility to communicate with honesty what we understand to be our needs and boundaries, and not assume that others will ‘just know’ what those  are.

When we openly communicate and leave expectations behind, then we give others the opportunity to decide if they have the capacity to engage at the level that we need and vice versa.

If we manage to do this before placing expectations on others, then we have a better chance of forming and maintaining sustainable relationships.

It is respectable to have standards that we want to meet and manifest and admirable to have metrics to gauge our progress, but it is unhealthy to obsess over an expectation and blind ourselves to the realities and paths that life places upon us.

How do you ground yourself when you become aware that you are placing unrealistic expectations on yourself or others?

 

Authenticity as Self-Care

When we find ourselves in a complex situation that involves people whom we care about we can easily lose sight of our wants and needs.

Though it can be argued that selfishness is a common trait triggered by self-preservation, some of us have another dominant primal instinct: to nurture and protect.  This gender inclusive proclivity can be difficult to navigate.

If you identify as a protector or nurturer, then chances are that you have found yourself in a circumstance where you get wrapped up in emotionally providing for another person while oftentimes, without even realizing it, forgetting your needs. Worse than forgetting your needs, there are times when we become so concerned in trying to ensure another person’s comfort, or in providing what we think that they need from us, that we do not even take the time to reflect on what we need and how we feel. We don’t check in with ourselves and only realize this when the situation has become overwhelming for us.

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We Remain Living

Any type of change has the potential to be uncomfortable and even difficult, but a change in a relationship often triggers a suffering that is universal. We’ve all had romantic relationships that end in heartbreak, friendships that dissipate, loved ones whose lives end while we remain living.

We remain living.

During and after a loss of a relationship, life keeps on moving and sometimes we struggle to keep up. The grief of no longer having the person’s company, knowing that plans that you’d made before the loss will no longer manifest, the reality that someone in whom you found solace in is no longer available to you, these are all factors that you are left to confront.

I woke up several weeks ago to a couple of missed calls from a friend and a text that urged me to call back. When I did call back, though, my friend could not finish a complete sentence before tears consumed her. I managed to make out that her long-term relationship was over; he had left. She was in the middle of the rawness of loss and because she was miles and miles away in another country, I could not hold her. But, I could still support her, love her, and remind her.

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