When the topic of relationships arises, I will be one of the first to admit that I have made a million mistakes in my relationships. My expectations were set to high and sometimes too low. There were times that I felt that if I spoke up one time too many, I would crash the boat. I’ve been stubborn and competitive. I have been insecure and overly cautious. I have been independent and unwilling to allow a man be a man to me. I have been dependent on the person in our relationship for happiness and stability. With that said, I think that I have come a very long way considering my ability to admit my faults and shortcomings in my past relationships. A place that was hard for me to reach some years ago for a number of reasons.
Now that I am self-aware, I consider that to be more important and relevant that being a perfect partner in a relationship or always right. As most of us know, relationships are one of the most difficult situations to support. Like yard work, we must nurture and support our relationships to make sure that they stay healthy. Our relationships are mere reflections of who we are at that point in our lives. Interesting enough, when we have a difficult day, it those around us, our loved ones that we lash out at and who we express our frustrations towards. Then when we are happy, it is our loved ones that we want to share the happiness and triumph with. On the other hand, when we are not happy with ourselves, our relationships are affected by this displeasure and as a result it suffers.
Sitting here, I can recall so many arguments and altercations but I cannot remember the purpose behind them. Then I wonder was the tension and issue worth the argument and stress? If you are reading this blog, you are probably like me in the sense that you have probably been disappointed by the turn of events in a relationship in addition to failed expectations as an outcome the relationship ended.
I think it is fair to say that everyone has personal needs that must be met in order for them to be satisfied and happy with their relationship whether it’s personal or professional. One of my unfavorable hurdles has been having doubt in others or trusting people for face value. I suppose my belief is that trust is earned versus given. However, I am a bit of an extremist when it comes to that. In this sense, it means that I am “overly- cautious” at times and tend to contrast and compare earlier events with current ones. Yes, I know that isn’t a good look, but to be fair, this isn’t something that I do often it just depends on the situation. You know “Situational Application” (a theory that I made up) laughs… it is applied to the situation based on how trust-worthy a person appears t
o be. What I have also found is when I am unhappy with something in my personal life (me), I tend to fight the relationship. Picking here and there to find something wrong in the relationship and placing blame on the other counterpart of the relationship for what I am feeling. That is a self-taught habit that was learned through the bad relationships I weathered.
Currently I am working on my Master’s Degree in Human Services Counseling and it is very interesting the things that I am learning through my coursework. One of my classes, The Integration of Psychology and Theology has taught me that one of the ways of healing that is common in abuse victims is a therapy that I used independently. The therapy is called Forgiveness Therapy (FT). It is when an abuse victim forgives the abuser for victimizing and abusing them to grow past the hurts. And while it doesn’t mean that one should reconcile with the abuser, it simply means letting go of the ill-will towards the abuser and moving forward in your life, or in layman’s terms, leaving the baggage behind to move forward in life without holding on to the past.
Right now I am learning how to decide which batters to fight and which ones I should let go. It is only human nature that we would disagree with someone about something in our lives. Not to mention, some of us have those fighting genes. You know, the people who pick a fight with a wooden post, this could be because they have a lot of baggage in their trunks and this is their means of relieving some of that built up frustration; however this is not a good way to do that simply because it channels negativity. There are ways to face and issue or person, head on without negativity following along. Approaching someone with compassion opens the lines of communication without defense. It is important to display understanding and peace so that they will not get their backs up but instead respond with an open mind. I will admit, I have been on both sides of the fence. One side where I had my back up and approached the situation with negativity and the other side where I walked in open-minded, peacefully and compassionately and the outcomes was always different. Sometimes I would get a positive response when I went in negatively and sometimes I would get a negative response. Then when I went in with compassion and peacefully, I received the similar outcomes as if I approached them with negativity; however what I found was that it depends on the person. “BUT” one thing that I can say was consistent is that when I approached my counterpart peacefully and compassionately, it was less stressful for me. Why? Because there was no stress, yelling, bickering and hot tempers flaring (at least from my perspective) which was a positive thing. Not only that, I learned that it is OK to feel vulnerable sometimes; when you are in a personal relationship and you are connected, that should be a safe haven for you to be vulnerable and yourself; however that is if you are in a “healthy” relationship.
Being honest about self and your past, paves the way to a healthy relationship if both parties take part as such and admitting when you make a mistake is a “Great” thing. And thinking before speaking (reacting) is always a great thing. Simply because when you say or do things out of anger or frustration, 9 times out of 10 you will regret them after they have been released in the universe. And the sad thing about releasing things out into the universe, you cannot retract them. I am someone who can, my first reaction is not a reflection of my true feelings but instead, a reflection of my frustration at the time the actions occur. So, that being said, I try not to say things I cannot change and stand/sit still until I am ready to discuss the issue. The downside to that is the other person might want to discuss it at that time and push. So if they know you, why wouldn’t they understand? The only answer I can give is that we are human and we handle situations differently. Learning to set boundaries is a good thing, but not yet mastered by yours truly but I am learning how to and when to set them. I am learning to teach a person how I wish to be treated and feel that this is the best way to make sure my feelings are protected. That said, I am learning that loving, caring for, and finding peace within “Sonya” is the best start to teaching someone how to love and respect me the way I deserve to be. In closing, this blog is about self-awareness, self-love, self-respect and how important they are in a relationship. Seeking someone else’s approval is not important in a relationship because both parties should agree on how to make a relationship make and last. And the key point to this is having GOD at the very most center part of that relationship because he is the foundation. If you find, you are not connected to this person through the belief and love of GOD then that is the first indicator that this person isn’t for you. God balances a true and healthy relationship whether it is with yourself or someone else. A relationship should never be “All” about the other person but about both of you. Your happiness comes from God and within and as a result, you should share that equally. The best thing that a person can do for themselves is to let go of an unhealthy situation and then smile because their faith in God says, someone designed just for them is on the way. That is what I am doing! How about you?