RELATIONSHIPS – 5 Steps to take your power back!
The quality of all our relationships is pivotal to how we live and experience life. Yet, many of us feel less than fulfilled in the relationships that mean the most to us – romantic, work or otherwise.
So, how do we know which relationships are going to leave us fulfilled, and which are going to lead us down that rocky road of power struggles, friction and resentment again!
According to society, we must look for something or someone outside of ourselves to blame! Our boss is too moody and controlling, our partner is judgmental and/or needy, and our parents are too old to really “get” us — it’s no wonder that we’re not happy!
Most believe that if their outer circumstances could change, and the people around could change then they would automatically be happy. Getting that key promotion… having more money… my partner changing his/her habits… this would lead to happiness, wouldn’t it?
No! This is a falsehood because the list of desires that the mind creates is endless. If you are not fundamentally happy within yourself, then you will find many reasons not to be happy, even when life is good! Outer circumstances do not bestow happiness, and especially not in relationships.
People can only make you unhappy if you allow it. This may be a difficult pill to swallow, so I’ll say that again. If you are unhappy, there is no point blaming others outside of yourself, no matter what the situation. It’s your choice to be happy or unhappy, simple as.
“You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you”. (Josh Shipp)
Interestingly, when we make a decided effort to be happy, the circumstances around us change too. As we make decisions that serve us, as we stand up for what we believe in and what makes us feel good we find that the people around us change their behaviours to match ours. Old relationships transform or naturally fall away, we attract new people into our lives, and we are able to focus on what truly matters.
I’m not saying this is an easy journey, for it takes courage, conviction, and a considerable amount of follow through. As we challenge the status quo, and shake things up a little, undoubtedly the dirt will come to the surface, but as we continue to filter out what is not serving us, the water will become crystal clear, we will find a completely new perspective, and a freedom and real lasting happiness from deep within.
Here are 5 tips to help get you to that crystal clear feeling place and take your power back in all your relationships:
1) Stop blaming others or your circumstances for ‘where you are’
2) Look to see what you can change about yourself – what makes you happy, why aren’t you doing that, and where can you change?
3) Notice your internal dialogue (is it ‘loving’ or ‘judgmental’)
4) Be honest about what is happening in your life
5) Take responsibility for all your relationships
1) STOP BLAMING OTHERS
Stop blaming others, and let go of trying to control external circumstances/others in the seeking of your own happiness and fulfilment
We blame the weather, we blame our boss and colleagues for a frustrating and unfulfilling job; we blame our partner for an unhappy marriage/relationship, we blame our parents for making us the way we act today and all our failures¦
You might say you are a positive person and you don’t deserve to be treated the way you are, but it’s not your fault, you didn’t do anything wrong, so it’s right to justify and defend yourself.
This type of thinking is completely disempowering and incorrect! How do you expect your life to change if it is always up to someone else? You can’t!
Often, people treat us the way we allow (and expect!) ourselves to be treated. Do you allow yourself to be a walkover, or do you stand up for what makes you happy and content?
Once you understand that it is the quality of your relationship with yourself which affects the quality of all relationships you attract and accept into your life, you get your power back!.
Rather than expecting the other person to change, reflect on what YOU can change. What behaviours do you choose to accept into your life, and what is no longer acceptable to you?
2) LOOK TO YOURSELF – Setting the stage for change
So, how can you improve your relationship with yourself? As always, the first step to change is awareness. Do you actually know what really makes you happy? Grab a piece of paper and pen now and make a list!
Exercise: What makes you unhappy? Jot down a few notes and then ask yourself, ‘what do I really want here?’ Use the ‘unhappy’ list to pivot and make your ‘happy’ list!
What do you need to bring you closer to happier, healthier relationships?
3) NOTICE YOUR INTERNAL DIALOGUE
Be honest with yourself and notice your internal dialogue. We are talking to ourselves constantly throughout the day, but we need to be aware of whether our thoughts are focused on finding a solution, or on the problem and blame energy!
What thoughts keep going round in your head? And what reasons/excuses are you telling yourself that are keeping you stuck where you are?
4) BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
Being honest with yourself may seem hard at first. If you have built your life and identity around blaming others, then taking responsibility for your own life, your own actions and reactions is a really big step!
Yet taking this step of self-reflection and honesty holds the power to change your life BIG TIME!
When you refrain from reacting (in thoughts, words, or actions), you create the necessary space to see what your habitual patterns and responses are, and what is limiting you in a particular area of your life.
To improve your relationships with others ask yourself:
- Do you communicate your feelings regularly and honestly?
- Do you do so with love and compassion?
- Do you do so without expectation?
- Do you stand up for what is meaningful to you, without needing to impose your particular view on the others?
5) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Once we are honest with ourselves, it is no longer possible to continue to receive behaviour that doesn’t match with our vision of ourselves and what we feel we deserve.
Rather than expecting the other person to change, try reflecting on what you need to change. What behaviour do you choose to accept into your life, and what is no longer acceptable to you?
Ask yourself, what your relationships are like with the people closest to you? Your boss, your partner, your mother, your best friend?
For most of us there will be key aspects of these relationships that we don’t like and really don’t want in our lives. But there will hopefully be things that we do like.
Regarding those relationships that are not working for you, ask yourself: “Is it these people who are pulling me down, or am I actually allowing myself to be pulled down?
From your honesty with yourself it is vital that you also commit to sharing your new awareness with others if you are to avoid a life of bitterness and hatred. The most effective way to do this is to start sharing from a space of love and compassion.
This may be hard to do at first, but if you understand that people only act from their view of the world, then you can begin to bridge the gap. Often people act out because they themselves are hurting, or they have lost their own connection to self, and this translates into negative behaviour towards others.
If you can realise this, then you can begin to allow your voice of blame to fall away. You can listen to the feedback from your partner (boss or friend) with love and compassion.
If you are able to communicate to yourself with honesty, love and compassion, then you can also communicate to your partner in the same way. As you choose to do this more and more, the relationship has the potential to become a co-creative process for something much greater.
Or, if your partner is not ready to accept this change, then the relationship may simply fall away and another improved relationship will come into your experience, to reflect your new and expanded sense of Self.
In closing, learn to take control and responsibility for your own actions (and reactions). If life isn’t working for you, be honest about it and seek to make key changes based on self-awareness and self-responsibility. Watch, your thoughts and emotions as they arise in each moment.
As you connect with that inner spiritual awareness and guidance, you will find creative solutions for every problem and be able to handle situations with far more grace and ease than you did before.
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