By: Sylvia Collins
No one is perfect.
I am certainly not a relationship expert, or even an expert in my own relationship with myself, but I continue to work hard at it.
I started a journey in 2015 that has changed my life. It is a very personal and very private journey and the results are profound.
I promised myself I would feel my feelings.
I live a life that is stressful sometimes, just like everyone else’s.
It is so easy to jump on the quick-fix band wagon. There is always a pill, massage, drink, exercise, blog, chat room or group that can fix what you are feeling. Is it so bad to feel it? If you are sad, be sad. If you are angry, be angry. If you are stressed, be stressed. If you are lonely, feel lonely. When you are tired of the feeling, then be honest about the source and direct your energies to that.
If the source of your sadness, anger or stress is a relationship, then have a good long look at that relationship.
The next step is to ask yourself some really tough questions. What changes can you make to change how you feel? What is the relationship worth to you? Is the cost of this relationship affecting two people, or is it the price that you are paying?
Taking a good, honest look at a situation may help you to sort out what part of the solution needs to come from you and the role it will play in your life.
Maybe it is time to move out of that relationship, or maybe it is time to investigate whether there are two sides to the sadness, anger or stress. There can only be a solution once you have some perspective.
The relationship can be a partner, customer, employer, neighbour, board member, teacher, student or any other situation where two people are involved.
If the source is a job, then the same questions apply. The bottom line when it comes to a job is that it will be your point of view, your perspective and your feelings that will likely need to change. Your choice at the end of the introspection will be whether the job situation is worth it to you.
The opposite is also true. If you are happy, feel that. Spend some time there. Sit with it, recognize it, look around and enjoy it.
This is the step that many of us sabotage. Sometimes the decisions that we need to make to allow us to spend more time in our happy space are really tough.
Take a careful look around before making the tough choices and fin clarity regarding what those choices are and who they are going to impact.
While you are in your happy space just look around and see if there is room for others, or is this a solitary happy space.
It will be a lonely journey because mostly people do not like this approach and it is work that you must complete on your own, but so worth it in the process.
There is no end to the process. It is a life skill.
I think as humans we are so averse to honesty when it comes to our feelings, that we are often not honest with ourselves.
We need to work on that as humans. What is so bad about having feelings, recognizing them, and then addressing them?
I find that gratitude is a byproduct of this system. I have the ability to find blessings in every day. I often check my attitude of gratitude at the end of each day. I believe that gratitude is one of the tools that helps us to recognize, and appreciate, our progress.
Gratitude is often about reflection, and sometimes about appreciating the moment. Gratitude is not about dreams, goals, wishes or future accomplishments.
As we are on this journey of self-reflection and introspection it is imperative to take a moment every now and then to ‘stop and smell the roses.’ It is in those moments of gratitude that we are able to mark, and recognize, our own success and growth.
Today I am feeling successful when I look back.