I’m probably alone here, so you may not want to read on. In fact, if you always consider yourself most important in any relationship, you won’t have any idea what I’m talking about. Lucky you.
I’m protective of my “self-time.” I write, exercise, visit friends and family, listen to music and all the things that feed my spirit. But, and this is a big but, I realized in some relationships I put the comfort of others above me. Perhaps you act the same in love, friend, and family partnerships. Some relationships in my past have been about an obligation to protect the feelings and comfort of the other person, over my own. In fact, I lowered the importance of me in order to elevate them. No, not talking about being a floormat, but rather, something more subtle. Something that tightens in my tummy. It’s not that I throw myself down the stairs but nudge myself over into a closet. Here’s how it looks, again, you probably won’t see yourself here. Maybe it’s just me.
In romance, he asks, during the first date, if he can call tomorrow. There’s no chemistry, and he’s not a bad guy. “That would be nice,” you reply. Why didn’t you say: “No thanks. It was nice meeting you but I’m not really feeling a connection.” The answer is, you didn’t want to make the person uncomfortable or hurt him. Instead, you walk to your car with an awkward feeling.
In a family, your grown child, asks to accompany you on a solo trip you’ve planned. This one is tricky. I’m not suggesting we abandon our adult children. Family comes first, but this was to be a self-seeking journey. You may have said yes because you don’t want this child to abandon you. Instead, you abandon yourself.
In a friendship, you can imagine a dozen scenes where you’ve said yes to prove your loyalty, even when it backfired, no matter how tough it was for you.
Maybe we need to shift our loyalty to ourselves. Just consider it. In a romance, it means you won’t have that gnawing feeling in your tummy while plotting how to get out of something you shouldn’t be in. In a family, it means you all have the opportunity to grow closer in a healthy way. In a friendship, the most appreciated gift is honesty. Afterall, don’t you turn to your friend for the true answer of, “Does my butt look fat in this?”
“Love yourself before you can love another.” We’ve listened to this pop-culture message over and over. Actually, it’s too vague for me; I can’t see it in action. Instead, when I’m physically uncomfortable with someone, I know I’m worthy of more. More from myself.