Soooo, just like we have to be aware and mindful of what we are absorbing, we also need to be aware of what’s already siting in the crevices of our lives that is no longer serving us. Sometimes, sponges need to be wrung out and purged of dirty, stale, old water. The initial thought that pops into my mind is: relationship. I want to clarify that when I mention relationship in this article I am referring to ANY type. Familiar, friend, associate, romantic, long distance, previous, current, whatever!
Personal experience has shown me that sometimes the most lengthy connections..you know the ones that provide “security, nostalgia and familiarity” are the very ones that need to be squeezed out of our lives to make room for new fresh, healthy and more supportive ways of being. Often times, we remain connected to toxic, unhealthy or “safe” dynamics out of a sense of obligated loyalty. “This person was there for me when…x,y,z”. I am in no way discounting having the awareness to salvage or not totally cut off relationships that are at their core, worth maintaining. Certain relationships have no choice but to be maintained at some level, either because the person is literally related to you, or you share a child/children. This however, doesn’t meant the level of engagement needs to remain high. Squeezing ourselves and finding new spaces in our crevices is essential to growth and progress. This doesn’t mean that the sponge is completely absolved of its previous relationship, just that it has begun the initial release and over time, the connection will serve as a distant memory that assisted to achieve its current state. The standard of measure I like to use is one of reciprocity and emotional intelligence. These two questions can be asked. “Does my current relationship with this person(s) fill me with a sense of joy, purpose and well-being?” and “Do we share a reciprocal exchange of energy or am I being drained consistently during our interactions?” This requires a certain level of honesty with our own self and a self-awareness of how we operate in regards to another person.
Sometimes the crevices are filled not with relationship, but with habits, thoughts or behaviors. I quit smoking cigarettes almost 4 years ago and I used the same measure referenced above. The answer was “No! This does not bring me joy, purpose or help my overall well-being” The other answer was “No, we do not share a reciprocal exchange, cigarettes drain the crap out of me!!” There was a time where I felt that the answers may have been different to those questions, but as we grow and mature, the answers often change, and must be re-evaluated. Just like a sponge, we need it to be filled with soap while we scrub plates and forks, but once that purpose has been served, we want to rinse and squeeze that sponge out and fill it with fresh water so the old dirty soap can be released. I challenge you to squeeze yourself today. First take a look at your relationships, habits, behaviors, thoughts and activities and then measure them up to the questions. Be compassionate and caring with yourself. Sometimes we know that something isn’t healthy for us and we just aren’t ready to squeeze it out, and that’s alright. Understand that knowing is half the battle and as you seek transformation, turning “knowing” into “doing” is critical if we want an overall different result.
With so much love.
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