I recently saw this article from Tiny Buddha, written by Joel Almeida, and it resonated very deeply with me. I feel blessed to have experienced the hardships I have in relationships – alarming that may sound to some – because they has given me far more gifts than they have taken away.
Being a better version of myself is a quotidian reflection for me, and a pursuit I have committed to for a lifetime. I make countless mistakes, have as many shortcomings as the next person, and feel as frustrated with human beings – strangers, friends, family alike – on a daily basis. I fall victim to the dreadful habits of minimizing, justifying, and making excuses for everyone else ALL the time on top of it – one of the reasons I landed in such painfully damaging situations to begin with. But, as a result of countless treatment methodologies, the understanding of what a healthy relationship *should be*…and the actual applications to myself came together.
I have a ton of growing yet to do – learning, retraining, healing, and beyond. . . But the moment I recognized that I deserved better than the horrors I had, things began to fall into place rapidly – conceptually, physically, emotionally, and REALLY... But having a healthy relationship after a lifetime of dysfunctional and abusive ones? It actually isn’t as easy to navigate as you might think! It has taken a lot of adjusting to even allow someone to do something nice for me (my incredible fiancé can attest to the struggle – it’s real! 😉 )
It matters to me that our love flourishes, that he feels good about himself, and that he knows, no matter what, that he can always rely on me. For that to happen, I have to also work on myself – whether in loving, forgiving, respecting, or being brutally honest, I owe myself as much as I do my significant other. It is only then can I really give all of myself.
A relationship itself is also work – not work in the sense of utter drudgery, mind you! But it takes nourishing, understanding, and compassion. Relationships are built on trust, respect, and appreciation. With those things in place, it becomes and endless wellspring of love.
I loved the points Joel touched on – I’ve never come across his work before, but I really appreciated this piece. Life is so fast paced and crazy that it’s easy to lose sight of things – or control of ourselves! I know I’ve not always reacted in the way I’d like to, but I take each failure – in sports, school, work, relationships, whatever! – as an opportunity to learn and grow.