Hello again! It's time for my weekly blog post. This one is going to be pretty short and to the point: you can't hold on to people. Ok, that's it, bye!!
Just kidding! But really, let that sink in. You can't hold on to people. What does that mean?
Well, people are autonomous, right? They make their own choices. Which means you can't control them or their decisions, if they made the decision to leave your life, you have to let them. That being said, of course it's ok to grieve their loss. But you can't hold on to them. You have to let people go when they want to be let go, it's the only way to move on and find your true happiness. If they made the choice to leave you then that person - whether it was a romantic relationship or not - wasn't your true happiness. Believe what people tell you and even more so, what they show you. People are only as good as their actions and intentions.
Happy Quarantine Week #879... or something.
First, let's talk definitions.
Boundaries: open ended, they don't have to be either/or, they simply block out some of the possibilities, they are something you set for yourself. Boundaries likely show up as "I" statements. i.e. "I need ____ from you so I can feel content"
Ultimatums: come from the desire for control or force. They shut down all other options. Ultimatums likely show up as "you" statements. i.e. "you need to fix _____ for me to stay with you"
When you're setting your boundaries, remember, they need to come from your personal needs or wants, not as a way to manipulate someone else. When others are setting their own boundaries, remember, they shouldn't make you feel stuck, if you do feel stuck it is most likely an ultimatum. Also, when you are setting boundaries make sure you are willing to follow through with the "consequences", otherwise it turns into a threat or something you are holding over your partner. For example: "For me to feel like this relationship is healthy and sustainable I need us to work on _____, either through counseling or some alternative, otherwise, I will need to leave the relationship". This might look like a slippery slope - and it is - if the answer to this statement is "I am not willing to work with you on this" then that person has to follow through with their boundary (leaving the relationship) for it to be considered a boundary. Otherwise, the "I will leave you if you don't do ____" becomes a threat or an ultimatum.
Essentially, it is all in the intent which is why it can be such a slippery slope. However, there is a big difference between the intent to take care of yourself and the intent to manipulate or control your partner.
Happiness is in your control.
Nothing you have and nothing you do is going to make you happy.
Happiness is a state of mind.
Do you want to feel happy? Ask yourself; what would I be thinking if I was happy? Remember the post about your thoughts determining your feelings? This is a prime example! If you can change your thought pattern then you can change your feelings; "I am unhappy with my career" -------> "I am where I need to be right now" or "I am working to change my career path". Putting a positive spin on your thoughts and circumstances can help make the elusive "happiness" a reality.
Remember, if you believe a thought it will create an emotion. The trick to believing a thought? Repetition! Repeat the thought to yourself, try to sit with it and breathe it in, the more you do the more believable it becomes!
A Persian poet named Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi once said,
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it
Dissecting this quote, what does it mean? Have you ever heard people say that before you can enter a relationship you, yourself have to be whole? That's what I think of when I read this quote. Finding all the barriers within yourself that are keeping you from loving fully is the best thing you can do for your current or future partner. Honestly, it's the best thing you can do for yourself. I want to encourage you, when you read this quote and others like it, to think not only of loving others but also of loving yourself. The secret to life? Loving yourself. The way to love others and yourself? Find the barriers, go all the way within and seek out those "things" those "triggers" find the root of them and push yourself to work through it and move forward in a positive way.