Revising Roles and Relationships

November 18, 2019

I’m at a time in my life where I’m thinking about relationships – the relationships I currently have and the relationships I hope to create. Over the last ten years, I’ve changed a lot.  Years ago, when I was in a place of perpetual pain, I bonded with people over the wounds and traumas in our respective lives.  It felt good to wallow – to remain in the abyss of misery. Unfortunately, doing so meant there was no requirement to evolve.

That has shifted. 

The more outwardly-focused I’ve become, the less interested I am in staying stuck.  That doesn’t mean I don’t get caught up in negative emotions.  This very week, in fact, I caught a cold and wallowed in self-pity until it passed.  But, by and large, I’m interested in living a happy, fulfilling life and adding value where and when I can.  The only problem is that I’d spent years surrounding myself with people who seemed to be committed to staying stuck.  I knew I was the one who’d changed and I knew it wouldn’t be fair for me to require them to do the same.

I didn’t want to let go of my friends.  I just wanted to change the dynamics of my relationships.  So, I tried to shift things.

As I started encouraging those I knew and loved to take more ownership of their lives, two things started happening:

  1. Some of the people I loved and cared about began to evolve and our relationships got stronger. We inspired one another and our lives got better than ever!

  2. Some people were so invested in staying stuck that interacting with them became downright excruciating.

Let’s be clear. I know what it is to want to stay stuck.  I’ve been there.  For DECADES.  That’s a huge part of why I’m not willing to remain in emotional quicksand anymore.  A couple of years ago, I started pruning away at the weeds of my relationships, letting go of what wasn’t healthy and making room for the seeds of growth.  It’s been one of the most rewarding undertakings of my life.

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