Life is far too short to choose another minute in the doldrums. Tricky thing is, when it comes to the weight of negative relationships, there’s always mutuality. As a friend once pointed out, “We can say what we want about ex-friends and lovers, but we picked em.” As Maya Angelou said, “When I know better, I do better”, so let’s learn to shift patterns.
Change the Way You See Yourself
Every relationship has value. When I’m brave enough to be honest, to take responsibility for every area of my life, relationship lessons are powerful teachings. Here’s a simple example. Have you ever been in a cycle where everything gets delayed or cancelled? Friends run late, so a lunch date cancels. Deadlines are missed because support staff “forget”. It’s so frustrating, and frankly, disrespectful. Like a virus, it infects your life. What if you pause, and look at where you’re disrespecting yourself? How are you letting yourself down? Truth is, remedy that, keep your own word, raise your own self-esteem, and you’ll attract the same. Here are some helpful ways to make that change. Without judgement, practice seeing yourself with love and kindness.
Be Open to New Relationships
We are social beings and good relationships keep us healthy. Sudeepta Varma, MD, NYU, Langone Medical Center notes the clear link between depression and isolation. Put yourself in places that bring you joy. Cafes, coffee houses, dog parks, ski slopes, museums, sports venues, whatever brings you a bit of bliss, are the same places you’ll make new, like-minded friends. Try not to have expectations. Just listen from your own good heart, keep an open mind, stay curious. Be proactive with your thoughts, too. A mindset of gratitude for wonderful new friends is a potent magnet. You are far more powerful than you realize.
Release the old to Embrace the New
One friend of mine remarks, “Everything I’ve ever let go of has my claw marks all over it.” It’s natural to resist change, even to stay in a relationship that’s miserable because at least, it’s familiar. Well, when you’re done, when you’re ready to choose new companions who are fortifying, fun, and light, it’s time to let go of the “old”. And it’s simple. Disconnect, in order to honor full connection to your own goodness. Resist that urge to call, check in, look up their Facebook page, or in any other way sacrifice your empowerment. Instead, stand in your own truth, even when it’s unpopular.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road and you can see how free you are of negative relationships. Truth is, you’ve taught others how to treat you. So, what if now you no longer place blame, or become “judgey pants” about ex-friends or lovers? Remember age 5 or 6, at a playground, when you asked someone to go down the slide with you, were told “No”, and just shrugged your shoulders, moved along until someone said “Sure”…..and how easy that was…how light and simple? The more child-like you become, the better your perspective. The more “no big deal” you are, the more right sized your view and experience of life is. You access self compassion when you “lighten up”. From this vantage point, it’s natural to forgive. And you can certainly, in your mind and heart, feel grateful for insights that shape better choices.