There’s only one long term relationship: the one you have with yourself.
I’ve been considering this for quite a while and it’s certainly one of the most meaningful aspects of wisdom from all of the experiences these past few years.
Lately it’s been coming up in a LOT of conversations and it is all over the pages of Oprah’s book The Path Made Clear.
In that book Mindy Kaling is quoted as explaining this as (and I’m paraphrasing): in order to say “I love you” you have to be willing and able to stand and belong fully in the “I”.
I like that way of expressing it. It’s most definitely been my experience that regardless of what relationships are or are not in my life at any time, the one I have with myself is always primary above all others.
This awareness has been so illuminating and is such a helpful frame of reference, it certainly influences all of my decisions.
I’ve been playing with the idea of doing the Charlotte half marathon for three years now. In 2016 I did the final 6.2 miles as part of a relay team which was so fun but more collaborative than individual.
It’s come back around for my consideration recently, and the myriad of reasons why it’s meaningful are ALL only about myself and what I want to do. Running is a solitary activity, maybe that’s why I keep coming back to it.
Just as with life experience, no one can run a race or take those steps FOR you. The people in our lives at any point in time can only ever cheer us on while we navigate our own life’s path.
Honoring and making my relationship with myself a primary focus isn’t selfish, it actually allows me to connect even more deeply and with a wider range of people. Because I have such clarity on my own values, it becomes a whole lot easier to consider whether a connection is aligned. Or not.
I appreciate that level of clarity because it really does make it easier to focus my time and energy on the people in my life who are most aligned. And those people tend be a whole lot more fun to be around.
Trusting myself elevates the quality of all the relationships in my life and letting go of expectation or attachment to outcomes invites freedom to explore. It really is freedom even when I attempt to resist that surrender – it’s a process for this former perfectionist.
I’ve obviously divorced my ex husband but have also divorced (or been divorced by) friends and business connections. All kinds of relationships in my life have come and gone and none of them could sever the relationship with myself.
So truly, there’s only one long term relationship and it is without question the one we have with ourselves.
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