Monday, January 26, 2015

Cultivating genuine relationships

What are the ingredients to a lasting relationship? 
Is your heart open? How well do you love others?
You need self-esteem. Unworthiness is a saboteur.

When it comes to relationships, I've had some lessons in the past where there's been fingers pointing at me. I in turn, spent too much energy trying to figure out what I did I failed the other person. It has sent me spiraling more than once into a pool of self-doubt. Because I could never get a clear picture of myself, and I still believed the old messages that were carelessly handed to me as a child, I put too much stock in the opinions of others when I shouldn't have. So the most shocking thing I've come to learn about myself recently is that I already possess the most important qualities of someone who loves well: honesty, patience, kindness, loyalty, protectiveness, trustworthiness, the ability to endure any disagreements, and a forgiving nature.

I can't take credit for these qualities though. As a little girl, my grandparents, aunts, and uncles were generous with their love. At home, I felt stifled and unsafe. But with them, I felt safe and accepted. Not once can I remember them shaming, judging, or betraying me. They not only saved a frightened little girl, but they showed me by their example, what love was. They gave me a good start...a foundation. Without a doubt, they were my first heart teachers.

It seems that I've always had a blind spot in regards to myself, therefore undervaluing qualities that were more important than the ones I had been putting on the offering plate. I've spent a lifetime trying to be that perfect little girl that my parents wanted me to be. I tried too hard to be be make others happy. It was a set-up for co-dependency and martyr-ism. But now a new door of truth has opened. I'm standing at the threshold....

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends.
I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
Jane Austen