I decided to turn this little quote/pic into a short blog post in hopes to engage you in some conversation … Lately I’ve been hearing from a few friends that they’re struggling with being around people who bring them down. Is this something you’re dealing with right now?
The quote got me thinking about the whole awakening process and the fact that we all ‘wake up’ at different times. This variable time clock has been causing lots of problems in relationships, with more than a handful of marriages ending that I know of (including my own several years ago!), and many transitions of friend circles.
They say you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with most. So my question is, what happens when you want to be above average? What happens when you want to step into a bigger, more loving, powerful YOU? Well, like it or not, one of the things that happens is that intimate relationships may end, and more than likely, your circle of friends will change. And this means you’ve got a choice: Let go with equanimity and compassion, or cling with frustration and expectation …
To Cling is to Suffer
I speak from personal experience and from keen observation when I say that if you cling to that whose time has passed, you suffer. Gulp. But what if what you’re clinging to is a marriage, a decades-old best friend, a way of life you thought you’d always have? Well then, its time for some soul searching and serious surrender. It’s time to ask yourself, “Who am I serving by holding onto this?” Many times, for example, parents will keep a marriage together ‘for the kids,’ only to realize later that the misery everyone endured wasn’t worth it for a moment. Others (and I count myself among them), don’t really know when ‘enough is enough’. “What more can I do to make this relationship work?” “Maybe we just need a little more time,” and “I’m sure this will pass” are all a part of the self-talk.
But at some point you just know. Maybe the relationship has become so draining that you’re physically exhausted, chronically depressed or financially insolvent. Maybe just being around the person (friend, lover or otherwise) makes you cringe more often than not. Maybe external circumstances are showing you again and again that this friend/lover/circle of friends is no longer resonant with who you are, what you aspire to be and do and have. And when this happens, it time to …
Let Go and Let God
Equanimity and compassion are the highest energies you can bring to a letting go of any kind. It’s so easy for us to stay in anger, frustration or ‘rightness’ when a relationship ends. But this negative approach serves no one. Remember that no matter how unpleasant or nasty a relationship may have become, each person in our lives offered us the opportunity to learn, grow and experience life more deeply in some fashion (even if it was by showing us what we didn’t want!!)
So whether you are facing the end of a marriage or a shift in your circle of friends, know this: the more love, acceptance and appreciation you can hold in your heart during the parting, the more you gift yourself and the quicker you will be able to celebrate the bigger, newer you!
When Letting Go isn’t an Option
But what if the dream-stompin’, wet-rag tossin’ grumpitarian is a parent, a child or colleague you have to deal with every day … then what? When letting go and moving on isn’t an option, your soul is calling you to make a big spiritual leap. Sorry to say there’s no insta-fix for this – you’ve got to do the inner work. And what is that inner work? Well, it starts with getting your ego out of the way, not taking their words or attitude personally, and bringing yourself back to your own center, no matter what. Breath, meditate, surrender your need to be right, and ask your highest, greatest self to intervene with compassionate understanding that someone else’s meanness is a manifestation of suffering – whether they know it or not.
These ‘spiritual’ approaches can feel like a high calling, I know. But there’s a strategic, practical approach, too. Change the way you think about the person and how that person ‘shows up’ for you will change. Yep – look for things to appreciate about him or her as much and as often as you can. Sound ridiculous? I understand. But one thing we know: the Law of Attraction works. So if you continue to focus on what totally annoys you about your teen, your dad or that ‘pompous so-and-so’, you’re pretty much guaranteeing that that is exactly what you’re going to rendez-vous with – every single time you deal with them.
And … even if there is someone in your life who brings you down, there are always others, too. So what can and will you do to surround yourself with those who bring out the very best in you? Share your strategy with me in the comments below!