Changing The Patterns Weaving Our Relationships; Healthy Habits&Boundaries, Healthy Relationships
Relationships take energy and effort, including the ones with ourselves, our bodies, Our Creator, families, friends, peers, and the world around us. Trying to build a better life means working on your inner energies and developing a more positive mindset and behavior patterns. Often there are people (selves included) in our lives who are wounded and operating from those wounds unconsciously and don't know there is another way.
If there are people in your life that are too negative, speaking or acting abusively towards you, never supporting you, always complaining about what's wrong, and you find your energy drained around them it's important to get clear with yourself first about what intentions you are setting for your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and wellbeing. This also includes looking at how others fit into your day-to-day life, and what might be troubling them/going on in their lives. It's important that you look after your safety, and know that you can't REASON with a person who is in a Highly EMOTIONAL state acting erratic or exhibiting violent, abusive behavior--Breathe and LEAVE, remove yourself from those situations immediately. Once violent abusive behaviors have been introduced into a relationship they usually escalate; while change is possible, in many cases, most abusers fall into repeating or escalating the violent behaviors, no matter how many times they swear and promise it will never happen again, it usually does, getting worse over time. Put your safety above continuing in a toxic relationship.
Communicating change is important to do from a calm, centered, neutral/emotionally noncharged state as negative emotions can cloud the minds and block healthy communication. If things get too charged up during the conversation you can always suggest taking a breath, reinsuring them you're not attacking or judging them, you value the relationship between yourself and them and are trying to build a healthier one. Offer to take a breath or a 10-minute break or have a glass of water or tea (no alcohol, that can stir up angry emotions and foggy communications) just to create some safe space to process the heavy emotions and thoughts that come up for each.
Healthy relationships have healthy boundaries and proper communication...
While face-to-face communications are powerful, sometimes it is easier to initially communicate via a handwritten or typed letter, not an email, something in an envelope or card--make sure it's printed out so they can hold it in their hands and read/re-read it if they need to.
Example communication *of course you would need to tailor it to what your personal relational situation is:
I love and care about you as I care about myself, and for myself, I'm committed to having healthier habits, one of which is developing and strengthening a more positive mindset, and speaking to myself and others with more kindness. I get you're in pain and am sorry you're dealing with that. I support your healing and well-being, but for us to keep having a beneficial relationship it's important to me that we only spend (x) minutes focusing on the wrong stuff and find things to be grateful for... or it's important to me that when you're talking to me you use kinder more/respectful words, I respect you with my words, and know I deserve to be treated with respect also. I value you and our relationship but will not spend my time with someone who is abusive/disrespectful to me, if you cannot respect my requests I will have to limit the time I spend with you/or end the relationship...
It is important to communicate without judging them or yourself, which puts them on the defensive.
They may get defensive anyway, as humans don't like to feel wrong and are a bit scared of change--if that happens we can remain calm and open-hearted and say:
I'm not saying you're bad, I'm saying the patterns of communication you and I learned and we've become accustomed to aren't supporting healthy, loving relationships between others and life, that we can have a better life and relationship by working on the way we think, speak, and relate to each other. How we've been up to now has created what we've experienced til now but we can have new experiences by changing up how we be/think/feel/act. I personally would like to have a relationship where we...(fill in your ideal desires and ask them what they'd like and their thoughts--relationships whether romantic, familial, friends, peer, or coworkers are a mutual creation).
Seeing and acknowledging what's wrong is an important part of the process of change, but staying focused too long on that part keeps you stuck and unable to create new and healthier patterns. We must bravely communicate our goals/desires/expectations so we are on the same page, but then let them choose if they continue to invest in our relationship by doing the work or releasing them so each can explore the shores/relationships they are meant to. We let them know what we're committed to developing and how we expect them to behave with us and how we'll behave with them, we model good behavior, including implementing and following through with consequences of misbehavior, and they're introduced to new ways of being and can either be inspired to be better or continue to act as they have--we must enforce our boundaries though, and this might look like us decreasing our contact with them or ending the relationship completely after continued disregard for our requests.
People can change but only if they want to, and sometimes our new habits are enough to inspire them, and other times, the consequences of not having our company make them improve.
But sometimes, there is no change for the better, and in those times, it's important we love and let them be who they choose to be as we go our separate way.
Life is messy, but it's also marvelous and miraculous, and the messes are part of that miraculous flow of Life's creative energy.
Relationships last as long as they are meant to, a second, days, weeks, months, years, decades, a lifetime, multiple lifetimes. We may have developed some unhealthy ways of relating with each other, but there is always a chance to change and create new patterns where the old ones were playing out, either within ourselves or within our relationships with others. We can't change other people and that is not the point, but when we change ourselves and how we choose to perceive/expect others to be we can impact or influence what we experience in the encounters we co-create with them. People are mirrors reflecting different aspects/facets/faces of ourselves. We project our mental visions upon the outer field and those in the field, sometimes because of past-behavioral patterns established with the person, or sometimes our own inner wounds we've yet to consciously integrate, heal, and change, and these visions set up the parameters of actions/behaviors able to be attracted/generated between us and them.
Building better relationships, whether with ourselves or others, is about awareness of and understanding the dysfunctions within self/other/relationship and what new ways of being we seek to introduce, instill, and fully implement in our present and future relationships, acknowledging and owning our part in the exchanges, then shifting to focusing on common ground, the LOVE within us all that is seeking to create connection and understanding and is able to see the wounded patterns, take ownership over, and do the acceptance, forgiveness work required for healing and improving the self and our relationships.
Better relationships begin within us. Some in our lives may be up for the challenge and the change and some may not, but as we change ourselves for the better, life has a way of redirecting our and their paths in perfect alignment with how each is choosing to be.
Stay strong, stay centered, stay loving, you deserve to be treated well, treat others well, and be in loving, mutually beneficial and supportive relationships with healthy communication, enjoy building your new ships.
All my love, Jamie Ferry