Sunday, 10 January 2021

Pop Thought: You can choose to keep someone in your life

A lot is said these days about it being okay to remove people from your life that are toxic to you and I completely agree with that. However, what about those people that aren't toxic, that you actually love, that are actually assets in your life? Do you have to remove them from your life just because a relationship didn't turn out the way you wanted or expected?

New directions
Photo by Elio Santos on Unsplash

Sometimes, things don't work out with certain people the way you want them to but you still love them, still enjoy their company. Your expectations/needs or their expectations/needs were not met and you can't have the relationship that you both maybe wanted in the way you wanted it. Or maybe one of you needs to receive things that that other is not used to giving or able to give, or efforts are required that your or the other isn't used to or willing to make. 

Things not working out the way we wanted can be frustrating. It can feel hurtful. It often brings up childhood pain and wounds... AND if that person is worth it to you, if you love and enjoy being with them anyway, you can consciously choose to have another relationship with them, a different one, to keep them in your life. It doesn't have to be all or nothing... unless you feel it does.

It will take a few things (and I may forget some of them) and they may happen simultaneously and/or on and off throughout the process: 

* Consciously assess how you feel about the person: Looking consciously at how important that person is to you, how it makes you feel to be with them (preferably very positive! - N.B. obsession is not love or positivity, it is a childhood wound asking to be healed), what things connect you to this person. 

* Figure out what will actually be necessary to keep that person in your life: how often, how close, behaviour changes, physical needs, emotional stresses, mental requirements on both sides. 

* Weigh the "cost" (emotional, mental, physical, spiritual) to you of keeping this person: Sometimes you have to actually try it to find out whether it's worth it or not. Sometimes it's easier than you thought and other times it's more than you can manage. 

* Make a conscious decision: to make a new and different space for them, however different that may be from the original idea of what you thought/hoped it would be. Much adjustment of expectations will probably have to go on over time. 

* Define the new relationship and take concrete steps (communication? action?) to make it happen: Often that means stretching ourselves either emotionally or mentally. Sometimes it just means waiting until emotional storms calm themselves with time. It WILL be awkward at first. It WILL be uncomfortable at first. It MAY be painful at first. It MAY be irritating or frustrating, especially at first. When you start anew, it may not be possible to define how, exactly, the new relationship will be but if you set the direction, you can move toward it. It helps if you are both on board to make this change but it may only take one of you who is committed to it for it to actually get there. 

* Mourn and release the old idea to make room for the new experience: This will undoubtedly take time and conscious effort. Keep the new goal in mind.

None of this is easy, none of it comes without uncomfortable effort, but if you think this person means something to you, if you love them, if you want them in your life, it may be worth it to do all the conscious assessing you need to make that decision. Don't let them just slip away because you didn't take the time to fully consider what could be done. It might not be easy but it could be worth it. À toi de voir.

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