This week I posted a pool asking my followers about what theme they would like to read here on my website. The choices were: 1. Relationships; 2. Career; 3. Body Consciousness; 4. Spirituality; 5. Feng Shui and finally 6. Personal Fulfillment. As you can see the theme that always catches people’s attention is about Relationships. Why? What’s going on with our ability to connect with others genuinely and develop everlasting and meaningful relationships?
Usually the complaints are the same:
My Relationships Don’t Work: They are smothering, absent, demanding, don’t support me, always criticizing me, unloving, never leave me alone, pick on me all the time, don’t want to be bothered with me, walk over me, never listen to me, and so on. (1)
I believe that the hardest thing for me during the process of becoming a Life Coach was accepting this simple statement:
What we give out, we get back. The Universe totally supports every thought we choose to think and to believe. When we are little, we learn how to feel about ourselves and about life by the reactions of the adults around us. Whatever these beliefs are, they will be recreated as experiences as we grow up.
That being said, you may think that while you were just being a kid with no sense of what was right or wrong you were just absorbing the relationship models that were running around you. Little did you know that you would go through the same interactions when you grow old. Does that seem fair to you? How can we break that unconscious cycle? How can we build a relationship that is really healthy for us? And not based on the past or in others peoples’ experiences?
I’ve been noticing a controlling pattern that permeates most relationships. It seems so difficult to accept the other person the way he or she is; to allow the other to do whatever they like or only to be themselves… We’re so close and connected, but are we really listening and paying attention to each other? Are we actually seeing the person that is in front of us? Or are we only projecting our expectations on the people around us? I’m so interested about this subject that I started reading a couple of books to help me get to a conclusion – take notes:
1. You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay;
2. Taking Responsibility – Nathaniel Branden;
3. Ho’opononopono – Ulrich E. Duprée;
4. You Can Heal Your Heart – Louise Hay and David Kessler
5. The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem – Nathaniel Branden;
6. Presence – Amy Cuddy.
What this authors talk about can be translated into only one word: Forgiveness. The first thing to do in a relationship is first of all to forgive yourself. Forgive the past. Forgiveness means giving up, letting go, dropping down the ropes of attachment. By taking responsibility over your choices and experiences in life you can build your inner-power, your posture will change, your thoughts will change. The choices you were used to make will surprise you just by stopping criticizing yourself and being your own master. It might seem a little awkward in the beginning but try to repeat the following sentence: -“I choose to value myself, to treat myself with respect, to stand up for my right to exist.” How does it feel now? (5)
In his book “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” Nathaniel Branden says that self-acceptance entails our willingness to experience:
That is, to make real to ourselves, without denial or evasion – that we think what we think, feel what we feel, desire what we desire, have done what we have done, and are what we are. It is the refusal to regard any part of ourselves – our bodies, our emotions, our thoughts, our actions, our dreams – as aliens, as “not me.” It is our willingness to experience rather than to disown whatever may be the facts of our being at a particular moment – to think our thoughts, own our feelings, be present to the reality of our behavior.
According to Amy Cuddy on her book Presence the manifest qualities of presence are: confidence, enthusiasm, comfort, being captivating – the more we are able to be ourselves, the more we are able to be present and that makes us convincing.”
Should I say that the people who are present are more willing to be lovable, accepted and belong?
People who have a solid sense of self-worth reflect that feeling through healthy, effective ways of dealing with challenges and relationships, making them both more resilient and more open. (…) A confident person – knowing and believing in her identity – carries tools, not weapons. A confident person does not need to one-up anyone else. A confident person can be present to others, hear their perspectives, and integrate those views in ways that create value for everyone. (6)
Long story short our relationships start within ourselves. Next time you begin putting yourself aside to be accepted remember to take responsibility on your choices. Remember to be present for yourself. Put your cell phone down, be with the person who’s in front of you; or either call the ones you care about. Our relationships mirrors the way we treat ourselves. Is there anything you can do today that can improve your relationships? Or that can align your goals with your actions?