Growing up, a lot of us don’t really focus on the concept of choosing our friends or those around us we consider “family”. It just sort of happens, common interests usually initiate and carry relationships with others for quite awhile until life starts to get hard. By “hard” I mean, “you’re an adult now”. Bills, a significant other, careers, possibly children and most importantly, the frustratingly existential concern of “what will I contribute before my life ends”.
Now arrives a time in life where you must analyze those around you to determine those of whom are and are not healthy additions to the life you choose to live. This process can be one of the hardest and most strenuous on an individuals mental health. I personally believe this can cause a rift in how you behave and think on a regular basis and cause permanent change within yourself that may or may not be healthy for your existence.
I have not always been good at setting boundaries. For a people pleaser it can be very hard to put your needs ahead of others but it must be done. I’ve come to learn that no one has your best interest in mind more than you. Not that everyone is deceitful but they’re human. This does not mean also that you have to be completely selfish. I love to give and I give when it is right with my soul. Now, let’s get back on track.
Recently I’ve had to say goodbye to a man I love. A man who has treated me better than any man ever has. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make. I posted a lot about grateful I was for him and it all was true. The love was real. The friendship was there. Never did I feel judged only loved. That being said, when one person is continually working to grow and evolve but the other person is not…
First things first. For some reason, I do not listen to myself. I read things, I think I’ve absorbed it, and then I behave as if I haven’t learned anything. I have been writing for months about many topics: Self-love, different types of love, pain, anger, co-dependency, boundaries, friendships, romantic love, de-escalation of monogamous nesting relationships. And in the past four months, I have not retained one iota of information. A friend of mine wrote a blog entry and credited me with giving her a kick in the butt. A kick in the butt about loving herself first because her relationship with herself has to take precedence. And then she blogged about that conversation. Which I read and felt as if a mirror was being held up to my face. How many times have I advised friends to love themselves? How many times have I told people that a relationship with one’s self takes precedence? How many times have I written about my addiction to codependency and sworn a blue streak that I was going to put the kibosh on that behavior? Why am I telling other people these things and not listening to myself? My friend wrote that she was angry about chasing someone to be in a relationship with when she doesn’t have her own shit together. I’m certain she meant romantic relationship, because of how the word was used in the sentence. But for all intents and purposes, I want to address the elephant in the room and make it ALL relationships. I cannot be a true friend to others if I cannot like myself. I cannot help others if I can’t help myself. This goes back to the “oxygen mask” concept I spoke about in previous blog entries.