Hi dear friends,
I’ve recently received many requests to touch on the topic of relationships, particularly when it comes to strained or difficult relationships. I think that no matter who we are, or how evolved we may feel, relationships will always be challenging life assignments. We are all incredibly unique people with different life paths and circumstances, and so, how we relate to each other and how we perceive each other will never be uniform. We view life, and the people in it, through our own unique lens, and I think that fact is incredibly important to remember when managing the relationships in our lives.
I’ve often struggled with the relationships in my life, I’ve had difficult family dynamics, friendship fallouts, and devastating breakups, and for a long time I thought my struggles meant that I was flawed and unloveable. Of course, it’s important to reflect on our own participation in a relationship, but what I’ve really come to truly understand and know as true is that not all relationships are meant to last. And ultimately, relationships ending do not make you any less worthy of the loving relationships you seek.
Over these past 18-months of strained, upside down pandemic living, our relationships have certainly taken a hit. We are all managing so much, and sometimes our ability to care for and tend to the relationships in our lives falls between the cracks. This week, I wanted to share with you, three helpful suggestions for mending a strained relationship, and also offer up the notion of solidarity that we are all going through this, in some way, shape, or form. You are never alone.
If you’re looking to bridge a gap with a relationship you hold dear in your life, try the following:
- Clearly communicate your needs and desires. Often time rifts form from miscommunication, leading to disappointment and letdowns. It’s important to remember that the people in our lives aren’t mind readers. If you’ve been feeling mistreated, find a way to communicate that to the person in your life. The great thing about clear, thoughtful communication is that it creates opportunity for the other person to show up for you in an aligned way, and it strengthens the confidence within you to feel worthy to ask for what you need. It’s a win, win.
- Accept responsibility when necessary. None of us like making mistakes or making someone feel wronged, but the truth is, we all will do it, many times, in our lives. The imperfection of human nature shows us that mistakes are inevitable, but the beauty in it all is taking ownership on the road to redemption. The simple act of acknowledgement can create so much space for forgiveness and repair, and it feels really good to take responsibility for your own actions. There is no greater act of love than deeply acknowledging a wrongdoing, learning from it, and doing better next time.
- Set clear boundaries. It can feel hard to let someone back into your life who has hurt or harmed you. Strained relationships are a beautiful opportunity to take some time for personal reflection and take inventory on what you will and will not tolerate in your life. Our boundaries can change over time, and having a clear sense of where you draw the line can help you maintain your own level of care in a relationship. Lastly, remember that no person is owed access to you and your energy; you are always allowed to say no and take space when needed.
I hope these tips help you in any difficulty you may be experiencing. All relationships ebb and flow and never stay the same. If you can release the need to maintain what “was” and be open to what you want to create in the present, you’ll find so much peace and comfort.
Sending you all so much love.