Relationships, in general, have been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe it’s because I’m single and preparing to mingle. Or perhaps it’s because I’m meeting a lot of new people in different circles. Whatever the reason is, I’m beginning to understand relationships are equal parts, joy and excitement, growth and lessons.
I have spent a lot of time on my recent quest to understand why people are the way they are, and why they show up in my life when they do. My perception is quite simple; every person I’ve ever met resembles a chess piece — a player in my game of life who has a unique position on my board. I love every King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight and Pawn I’ve ever played with, but I am positive the role of said pieces only exists to challenge my next move towards inner growth. As a soul first, every important lesson I have learned has always been in conjunction with another.
As I reflect on my relationships, the people who play significant roles in my life closely mirror where I also am, or where I wish to be. This reflection shows up in thoughts, behaviours, habits and perceptions. Although I have found ease in establishing and cultivating many types of relationships, it’s safe to say over the years; there have been many changes with whom I keep in my circle. I refer to this as the simple law of attraction. We attract what we are and what we think, as we can only perceive what we know. And as we grow individually, we aren’t in charge of who grows with us. It’s essential to check in with the relationships we have. Ideally, they make us happy and, more importantly, help us improve, but it’s also not uncommon to outgrow someone either. Any time I’ve said goodbye in a relationship, it wasn’t about the other person being lesser than or bad. It was merely a time in my life where I outgrew the similar qualities that once brought us together. Regardless of the person, I’ve always separated myself in exchange for personal change and transformation. Ending relationships is never easy, so choose to do it in an empowering way.
A couple of years ago, I was so distracted by so many different things that it was difficult for me to see how miserable I was. When I started paying attention to my discontent, I made a vow only to do things that either made me happy or positively affected my inner growth and spirituality. I recognized that implementing healthy habits such as yoga, saying yes when I mean it, and keeping a tidy space all attributed to my growth. Addressing the uncomfortable stuff and looking at the relationships in my life also proved to be an essential step to this ongoing process. As I’ve been doing the work to seek happiness, calling checkmate on specific relationships has naturally been inevitable. I’m here to tell you; it’s okay! Every last one of us has full permission to let go of anything that no longer serves us, including our relationships. I’ve also learned that if I don’t prioritize my healthy habits and the intention to better myself, I’m not happy. And if I’m not happy, I’m not taking care of myself. And maybe you’ve guessed it; if I’m not taking care of myself, there’s no way I can take care of someone else and quite truthfully, that would make me miserable.
How do you know when a relationship’s working for you, and how do you know when it has run its course, aka checkmate? It took me quite a bit of time to discover values and boundaries and, more importantly, what they represented for me, but once I did, reasoning on who I spent time with, became clear and much more intentional. Without fail, the people I’ve surrounded myself with have always affected not only my thoughts, actions and behaviours but my overall energy, personal success and growth. Knowing my company reflects who I currently am or who I desire to become, is a critical factor for me. And identifying my core values and boundaries plays a massive role in my decision making of the game of chess, I call my life.
Disclaimer: do not call it quits on a relationship at the first sign of a challenge. Relationships are in our lives to teach us something, sometimes many things, and through this, we will all gain heeds of knowledge. But not all lessons have to last longer than they should, and if you’re struggling to support a relationship that isn’t healthy, it could be a sign to stand in your power and walk away. Sometimes the lesson in life is knowing when to call it quits. Do you have a current relationship that brings you joy, but also hurts and disappoints you? Have you already clearly explained what makes you uncomfortable, but you’re noticing the same repetitive behaviour? What are you willing to accept, and what are you ready to sacrifice in terms of your happiness and personal growth? It’s okay to release relationships that no longer serve you. Quite frankly, it’s the only way you’re going to make room for the new relationships that will.
Decisions we make in terms with who we spend our time with have the power to either guide our soul in the right direction or steer our soul away from who we truly are. These lessons give us a greater sense of self, a reason to explore and the energy to stay curious. When it comes to relationships, find a way to get comfortable within the uncomfortable, as you see fit. Grow together or recognize when it’s time to walk away. Use every opportunity you can to express your highest potential. Always be loving and choose the relationship you have with yourself first, and others wisely. Find certainty in that every time you listen to your heart, you are aligning with your soul and its very purpose.