”Every relationship is a living thing between two people. It becomes an extension of ourselves, for it creates a new lens for us to view the world. It is also something that must be nurtured, for indeed it is alive, by the people who are in the relationship.”
We talked about relationship values, which are meant to nurture, and explored respect, growth and passion. We then discussed the importance of personal growth, and surrounding yourself with people with similar values can foster that. And…
“In these exchanges of shared interests and values, you rely on yourself for fulfillment, and you seek others to empower yourself to grow. This philosophy will help lead you to become a ‘complete’ person.”
Alternatively, if you surround yourself with people who “give” you things, be it material or emotional value, you may start to rely on others for fulfillment. When this happens in a romantic relationship you may become comfortable with a loved one who is not nurturing your true desires. I wrote…
“We have an epidemic where people fear being vulnerable. Because when we are vulnerable there is the belief we will get hurt. But we must see this is a false belief, because when we are vulnerable, we can…meaning it is a possibility…get hurt, but that is not a guarantee. Some risks are worth the opportunity for growth, and if we never take risks, we will never grow.”
I also wrote… “It is not about being half of a whole looking for that equal-opposite-other. It is not about finding a sense of ‘completion’ by being with a person. We all should be complete puzzle pieces from the beginning. A complete puzzle piece with a complete picture upon it, with a complete sense of identity that relies on values, and a complete sense of self by pursuing things that fulfill us. And the people we choose into our lives, just like puzzle pieces, should fit into us and us into them.”
Next we discussed how we treat ourselves when we must part with what is not meant for us. We do this by coping… a “conscious means to endure pain.” If we do so kindly, “there can be a grace about it.”
We also discussed guardian angels when searching for “our match.” Our guardian angel uses wise judgment to assess qualities and values of our equal-opposite other. I shared with you my list, which was: Must be kind, a good communicator, confident through intelligence, express creativity, passionately and mindful of life’s choices.
We talked about acceptance and forgiveness, and… “We must accept pain will happen, and pain is important to learn, and if we live a life fearful of pain then we will learn little. While pain is inevitable, we do not need to suffer. Suffering is when we let the pain continue to affect us after the harm is done.” With forgiveness we can end our suffering.
But forgiveness is a part of something greater, which is learning how to love yourself. We discuss seven simple wisdoms to guide that journey…
1. Know yourself.
2. Know your happy place.
3. Invest in what makes you happy.
4. Surround yourself with people who share the same values.
5. Focus not just on your mental health, but physical health.
6. Be grateful, and find pride in your accomplishments.
7. Make mistakes and forgive yourself.
To invest in yourself is not selfish, it is empowerment, “for it fosters a kindness within us that will allow us to share it with others.” And to follow this same list is how you love others, except the focus is on your loved one.
We ended this week with a ritual of love, on Valentine’s Day, by encouraging all of us to “become active participants in how you celebrate…[and]… be in the moment…and when you look him or her in the eyes, understand what you commit to your special someone when you say, ‘I love you.’”
And I will conclude our eighth ritual of kindness with closing thoughts…we must first learn to love ourselves before we can love others. It may seem like a simple thing to do, but along the way we sometimes forget how to do that, if we even ever knew how. It starts with respecting yourself as the most important thing in your life. It is also understanding you are constantly growing and adapting to changes around and within you. Sometimes growth can be painful…even scary…but the best of things usually are. Finally, and most importantly, there must be passion. Passion to chase what fulfills you, and should you be lucky to grab hold of it, never let it go.
May we all be so lucky to share our gifts of respect, growth and passion with people deserving of our love.