*Warning Trigger Alert: Child Abuse*
We’re starting to explore a few areas where lives quickly get out of control. Last week we tackled “in the home”. Today I’d like to talk about relationships. So I started to think about what causes relationships to get out of control, and I broke it down into these categories (recognize them? I talk about them a lot):
Relationships get out of control when we lose our sense of self values by hanging out with someone who continually pushes those values away by belittling them, making fun of us, showing us that our values aren’t as good as theirs, etc. I can’t read the news without reading about the latest child predator (R Kelly, Jeffrey Epstein, etc.) It makes me think about “grooming” the concept of people helping to break down people’s values, priorities, and boundaries so that they can corrupt the other person and get them to do what they want (for nefarious reasons). This is not something that happens over night, but over time, and when it happens to us we begin to feel crazier and crazier.
Relationships get out of control when we throw out our priorities. Maybe more affectionately referred to as codependency. I love my spouse and daughter very much, and they are my number 1 priority, but if I don’t also focus on the other things I have determined to be priorities like self-care, serving others, and building my community, I become a burned out victim in my own life.
Relationships get out of control when we don’t uphold our boundaries. After we firmly establish what our boundaries are, it’s important that we maintain them in all aspects of our lives. I’ve had friendships and romantic relationships where I’ve let people step all over my boundaries as a means to “people please” and make the other person happy. It’s never gone well. I start to resent those people, and I start to resent myself for allowing it to happen.
Relationships get out of control when the relationship replaces all of the things we are passionate about doing. We have been given passions so that we can live our life’s callings. Yet, if you have a demanding relationship that requires you to do what s/he/they want, and you do less and less of what you were made to do, you begin to lose yourself. Over time you’ll completely forget who you are until you end up becoming too much like the other person.
I wasn’t entirely sure how to encourage you if you have a relationship that is out of control. I know so many people struggling with toxic relationships. As their friends, it can be easy to tell people to just write off those relationships, but it’s never that simple. There are ties that bind us to the people in our lives whether the relationships are healthy or otherwise. So I put out an intention yesterday to hear what I needed to share with you, and here are three quotes I heard or read throughout the day. I hope they inspire:
“When you say NO to the things that don’t serve you, you allow time and space for the things you actually want to say YES to.”
“I would rather adjust my life to your absence, than adjust my boundaries to accommodate your disrespect.”
“I hold the ability to forgive when appropriate. ”
I’d love to talk more about this with you if this is an area in which you struggle, let’s jump on a Discovery Call and see if working together is a good fit.