“Nobody’s role is to give your life meaning or make you happy. You give it to yourself based on your relationship with your creator. True joy comes from within. Joy is your God-given right, irrespective of your situation or relationship status. You condemn yourself to the left axis of hurts, doubts, fears, sadness…when you look outside for joy. We make choices about how we feel about ourselves (good or bad), and are drawn to people who make us feel that way. Most relationships begin to crumble once we begin to feel differently about ourselves and the other party still sees us the same way.” ~Connie Podesta~
WWN Reflection DAY 22: Take ACTION and Transform Your Life!
Today’s focus is on RELATIONSHIP. As you enjoy your weekend, here are some nuggets to reflect upon. (Excerpt from my upcoming book: ‘UN-Locking Your HeArt of Leadership.’)
1. Renew your relationship everyday. It has its own distinct energy, separate from the individual energy of the people in it. Be open to learning new things about each other. What you THINK you know can get in the way of what you NEED to know. Let go of the attachment to being ‘right’ all the time in your relationship. It gets in the way of the joy and beauty unfolding ‘right now’ with your partner. Avoid keeping scores. It kills off the growth buds of your relationships.
You are in each other’s lives for a purpose; to love, to heal your pains and wounds, to create light and joy, share, to grow, to bear witness of God’s glory in you, to transform and to give and receive energy.
You come into the relationship already whole and complete. To think otherwise and shift the responsibility of making you feel ‘complete’ to your spouse, is setting them up on a pedestal from which they’ll surely fall off at some point. We enter into relationships with our strengths and also frailties, we are humans first and not ‘knights’ in shinning armours or ‘damsels’ in distress. Both parties bear the equal responsibilities of ‘saving’ each other. 1+1 =1! All parties must play at 100% or not at all.
Be responsible and have a deep sense of awareness of how you choose to exchange energy with each other. The moment we are disconnected from God, the eternal source, we are disconnected from ourselves and consequently, we begin to manifest that disconnect in our relationships.
“We tend to marry our unconscious mind, and then project unto it all of our unresolved stuff.” ~Carl Jung~
The moment the real purpose of the relationship is lost, it dies or disfigures itself into a source of pain, resentment and a hellish existence that drains both parties. Take the time to refocus the purpose of your relationships. Constantly build up a bank of positive emotions and beautiful memories. Your currencies are loving smiles, touches, kind words, mutual hobbies, fun dates, shared jokes, trips/unique experiences, delightful surprises, loyalty, commitment, intimacy, patience, presence, gifts, respect, generosity, forgiveness and most of all kindness.
Deposit daily and consistently into your ‘relationship banks’. Once in a while make huge lump deposits. When the storms arise, your deposits would yield interests of loving memories and these will be the back-up resources that will sustain you. A relationship without an active reserve goes bankrupt at the slightest wind or wisp of trouble.
Sometimes we may have to unlearn the old to learn the new. Keep your mind open, you just never know. People evolve and grow, decide to grow together. Most relationships die because one partner grows and the other stays the same or both grow in different directions. The more we have certain deep values in common, the more our relationship flourishes. We learn new things everyday, your prayer should be that you each become a better version of yourself tomorrow than you were today and that you share these persons you’re both becoming with each other.
Don’t stay stunted! Do better, choose to constantly GROW your relationship in the right direction. “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” ~Frank Zappa ~
2. A relationship is an equal partnership. Both parties are responsible for its growth and success. It is a team. It is the most sacred of teams. When working in a team, don’t ever let your ego get in the way of the work to be done or the joys to be enjoyed. Always begin with the outcome in mind. Focus on WHAT you want to achieve and not WHO does what. Make each other your biggest priority. In the words of Maya Angelo: “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”
When someone is your priority you expend most of your resources(time, money, energy), on them. It is not just what you say, it is how you say it. It is not just what you do, it is the intention and attitude with which you do it.
So many wonderful and once loving relationships failed because people are more concerned with BEING right than DOING right. Get rid of your attachment to being right. Focus on the type of relationships you desire to create: Loving, healthy and happy! Know when to LET IT GO or SWALLOW; swallow your pride, swallow the back-biting, swallow keeping score of your mutual weaknesses, swallow your anger. Relationships take work and it is important that you focus on getting the work done each day. And make sure you have fun in the process. If not, what’s the point?
3. The quality of your relationships should be based on the love you give, the value you add, the gifts and talents you share, your ability to transform each other’s lives and the positive changes you ignite. Each party acts as a catalyst to the other. You are reflections of the other. Your closest and most intimate relationships offer you a tremendous opportunity to grow and transform. “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” ~Carl G. Jung~
You are first and foremost, in a relationship with yourself. You go into a relationship with your own ‘bag’ of belief system, values, upbringing etc . Each person is responsible for their own bag of ‘stuff’. Be courageous, own and confront your own stuff, so that you free up your heart to fully love the one you’re with. Your stuff is shaped by your past, culture, family, values, environment, beliefs, education, etc.
Everyone has the same capacity for love. It just manifests differently. Do not play the compare and contrast game. The greatest gift of every relationship is unconditional love. Be grateful for what and who you have and not anxious for what you do NOT have. Be thankful and happy for what others have. Their path is different from yours. Love and focus on the one you’re with. Focus on giving and not on getting. The beauty with love is that we are transformed when we give and receive it completely and unreservedly.
Accept and forgive each other, unconditionally. Know the difference between compromising based on love and sacrificing based on fear. Grow in your relationship. Grow with your relationship. God’s grace is sufficient for us all, however it is a choice whether we tap into that grace or not.
4. One of the dangers of thinking the grass is greener on the other side is that you may get to the other side and find out you’re allergic to that type of grass and you break out in terrible reactions. Be content with who/what/where you are. You have the power to co-create your relationships.
Your life is not an accident. The source of eternal joy dwells within you because you were created in God’s image. There’s a majesty within you. Why then do you seek completion from external possessions, titles, judgements? Avoid comparing and contrasting with others. Focus on building your home.
Do not surrender the power you have to valueless and meaningless things. Do not be a slave to the ego. The more congruent and content you are with who you are, the more empowered and loving your relationship will become.
5. Most relationships would flourish if we treated loved ones with the same kindness, courtesy and respect that we accord bosses, strangers and colleagues. Familiarity should not be an excuse for veiled contempt rather it should breed consideration and empathy.
Stop taking people for granted. Even loved ones deserve your sincere ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’, ‘I’m sorry’….Simply saying ‘I love you’ is not enough, you also have to mean it, think it and act it out. This is because LOVE is a very fragile seed, and it needs the right atmosphere in order for the fruits to flourish. If not, it gradually wilts away and dies!
6. If the FEAR of losing your relationship is what is holding you back from pursuing your passions, dreams and purpose, you’ll have a LONG wait because, like a shadow, the fear never goes away.
Arise into the light and tame the cobra of fear. ACT in spite of your fears. Fight for the relationship and create the reality you want. If you are afraid of being yourself in a relationship because of a need to ‘preserve and keep’ that relationship, chances are, the relationship is already broken and you’re simply wasting your life away, chasing and gathering the scattered, broken pieces while pretending to be someone else. That’s just exhausting!
If you find yourself more afraid of rocking the boat and more focused on preserving ‘peace’, know that you are no longer being yourself in that relationship, and that relationship boat’s probably already capsized! Allow relationships to evolve naturally.
Be authentic, be YOU. It is the pretence that destroys. You are already dead the moment you try to become something or someone you are not. A ghost cannot exist in a relationship. Be alive, choose to trust that you are enough. It is better to let go of a phantom relationship, than to lose your essence, soul and spirit. God made you for a purpose and you cannot fulfil it by being someone else!
7. Focus on exactly what you want in your relationship and not on the ‘problems’ ; what you do not want! What if your problem is not YOUR problem? What if your problem is simply just A problem? Quit taking things so personal, begin to let PROBLEMS/PAINS go when they’ve served their purpose in your relationship. Have clarity on and communicate your values, boundaries and deal breakers.
A problem or pain exists in your relationship to draw your attention to something that needs to be resolved, a skill that needs to be learnt, a reason to pause and reflect on your choices…and a chance to grow and transform. It is not in the ‘highs’ of life that your relationship is strengthened. Rather it’s in the ‘lows’; those periods when situations challenge us, when we are pushed beyond our limits, when loved ones and people we trust hurt/disappoint/betray us.
And yet, these are your finest moments to BE who you really are! Begin to see ‘PROBLEMS or PAIN POINTS’ as gifts to your relationships! God will NEVER give you more than you can bear. You are GREATER than any challenge, obstacle or pain. BE and B.E.A.M: Be Everything And More!
Remember this: You are blessed beyond your wildest imaginations. You are worthy of a loving, trusting, passionate relationship. You are deserving. You were created to love and be loved, unconditionally. In love were you created, with love were you moulded, through love were you redeemed. God is love and you are made in his own image and likeness. You are love. Do not ever sell yourself short! May love always find you willing, open and ready. Have a love-filled life!
Some great relationship books and resources:
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray
The Five Love Languages by Gary D. Chapman
The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
Join the conversation on our Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/wholewomannetwork
-Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido, MBA
Poet | Master-Certified Leadership Coach-Trainer -Consultant|
~Take empowered ACTION towards a Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier YOU!~
The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Co-Founder and Executive Director at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is the author of the upcoming books: “UN-Locking Your HeArt of Leadership” and “Today, I Will Not Bow”. A self-described Life-Connoisseur, who loves life and the whole human experience, Juliet was nicknamed a ‘reminderist’, [one who reminds us of that which we already know; that we are not fractured or broken and NOW is the perfect time to replace that fallacy with a new, beautiful truth: we are worthy, empowered, complete, whole creatures and our life journey is to return to wholeness]!
She is a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Leadership, Investment & Financial Literacy for women and youth (especially girls). Her mission is simply to engage, educate and empower women, regardless of their levels of income or background, to return to ‘wholeness’ and live Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier Lives using Faith-based, Scientific and Universal (Common-Sense) principles! Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc, @julietumeinc. Enjoy some of her portfolio of poems on her Floetry Blog and follow her daily reflective posts on Facebook.
Her message is simply: “To use the power of written-spoken-sung WORDS to connect, heal, empower, change and transform our inner and outer worlds. Words have power in the meaning and interpretation we choose to give them and all of life is synchronistic poetry in motion! Are you telling empowering stories about yourself and others?”