You won’t be surprised to hear of the pressures placed on your relationships by today’s faster pace. Add to that the myriad expectations for you to be a partner, provider, lover, nurturer, parent, friend and so on and it can become tough to remain a centred adult.
Sometimes it seems the better option is to pull the duvet over your head and simply withdraw. But you can also use this “duvet” fantasy to lead you to the information that tells you where and how you lost your balance.
Keep in Touch with Yourself
To understand the quality and depth of the relationship you have with yourself, make time for some reflection. Have a cup of tea with yourself and ponder whether you carry blame, resentment or judgment in your heart towards yourself and others. Stimulating reflections are those that have you taking stock of what or who hooks you into having unwanted thoughts, feelings and behaviours and what or who brings up the most resistance in you and what interests of yours persistently take a backseat because of others’ needs.
Essentially, aim to establish if you show adequate respect to yourself – i.e. to your mind, heart, physical and spiritual well being.
This you-on-you questioning time has the upside of:
- Keeping you aware of the degree of distraction brought on by your various roles
- Can be a reminder of your own purpose
- Helps you recognize your truth rather than being stuck in blame, judgment, guilt and envy
- Nudges you to prioritize your responsibility to yourself, and most importantly
- Boots you out of ongoing denial.
I believe that it’s only through our relationships with others that we truly get to know ourselves.
Regaining your balance involves conducting a relationship audit that examines your inner communication, which is the first of many so-called ‘Grounder Qualities’ that help keep you at your best and assist you when you realise you’ve dropped the relationship ball.
Do an Honest Review of Your Relationships
Once you’ve checked in with yourself, do an honest sweep of the varied and multiple relationships in your life. Ponder these questions:
- In this relationship, do I feel respected and is my behavior respectful?
- Is there a sense of equality and fairness in this relationship?
- Do I show empathy for my own and my partner’s feelings?
- Do I like who I am with this person?
- Is there mutual appreciation?
- Do we have good boundaries and do we manage conflict well?
- Are we moving into a state of blame and judgment or is there a healthy acceptance of our own and each other’s fallibility?
- Am I “pitching up” in the relationship, i.e. are each of us making enough of an effort?
- Can we and do we talk to and hear each other?
The answers you come up with will speak to the work that lies ahead. Whether you need to rekindle your values, challenge your approach to confrontation or up your quota on self esteem. Invariably, we all have at least one relationship that tells us there’s need for improvement. Like all therapy, acknowledging our voids and wounds and becoming conscious of our shortfalls, is a significant milestone to reach. To avoid getting stuck at that milestone, we must be mindful to align actions to our intentions. This means taking responsibility for what’s not working and figuring out what we need to do to enable ourselves in our key relationships – whether it’s as a father, son, daughter, friend, lover, sibling or companion.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Lao Tzu