Relationships are what ultimately bring most value and worth to our lives. This is true for both our personal life as well as in business.
No matter what we’ve managed to achieve, learn or accumulate, it’s essentially our relationships and interactions that define our experience.
Sooner or later we will come to realize they have the most impact on our feelings of contentment.
What we want in our relationships
So we all want to experience satisfying and joyful, or if talking about business – productive relationships.
What makes them satisfying is a personal question which depends on your own beliefs and past experiences.
But you want to feel loved, accepted, appreciated, or valued in some kind of way.
Whether consciously or not, you also want to give, to feel the value of life in sharing your world or your passion through more genuine & meaningful communication.
So for relationships to be truly rewarding, you want to be able to express yourself fully and truthfully as you can; authentically and freely, comfortably being yourself.
So if we all want these same things, why are relationships often so complicated?
Our old time favourite intruder. This is most often more subconscious.
Because you want to be accepted, approved of or loved, you fear what the other might think of you.
You fear their judgement and reaction.
You fear expressing your truth, exposing your real self.
You fear showing or feeling vulnerability.
You fear being misunderstood, rejected or ridiculed.
You fear the unknown or uncertainty – what would happen if you did or said this or that, or what the future might hold as a result.
You might fear failures or successes.
The list goes on…
JUST BE YOURSELF is in fact one of people’s biggest insecurities.
Sure, sometimes you’re trying to ‘fit in’. But then even if you ‘succeed’ at being accepted or included, this brings a level of discomfort.
This is because trying to constantly maintain a made-up persona, you’d be working very hard and you’d quickly either run out of resources or create lots of frustration.
2. Wanting to control
It’s because of this fear, that you want to control the other – to make sure that you or your future are safe.
Yep, it’s not just their annoying habits you might want to change, you also want them to provide you with security.
You might want to change their beliefs you disagree with. That way you’d feel more comfortable having that confirmation that indeed yours are the ‘right’ or true ones to have.
You want them to say certain things or behave in ways you expect so that the future is less threatening.
You want to control the way they think, feel and react.
You approve of the other when they make you feel approved of yourself.
You want them to satisfy your needs and to fit in with your likes and wishes.
“Selfishness is not living your life as you wish to live it. Selfishness is wanting others to live their lives as you wish them to.”
~ Oscar Wilde ~
Truth is though…
You will NEVER be in control of anyone else’s experience
No matter how much you want or try to.
And this only causes your own frustration and suffering. You’re unhappy not because of them, but because of your own expectations – because you want them to be somehow different.
The vicious cycle
It’s because of your expectations & wanting to control, that you create conditions which bring in even more fear.
You create more fear in the other, and as a result – in you too.
This is because you’re now limiting or judging their behaviour, opinions or choices according to your needs. You are not allowing them to be fully themselves – essentially rejecting them as they are.
So of course in turn they either fear you more or want more control over you.
They might judge or limit you even more, not allowing you to be fully yourself, resulting in even more fear and frustration within you…
So what do you then do in turn…? I think you can see where this is going.
Before you know it, you’re stuck in a loop. The more you disapprove of another, the more disapproval you also feel.
So what can you do?
First, you need to recognise the fear and the ways you’ve been acting on it.
You have to be dead-honest with yourself without blaming the other.
Ask yourself: ‘When do or did I not allow them to think / feel / do / say what they did or be exactly as they are’?
Asking these questions will help you to start allowing them to have their own experience and want to control them less.
I’m not saying you should never disagree with anyone, their opinions or actions. But you’ll soon develop the ability to disagree yet still accept.
I’m also not suggesting you should just accept anything – any harm or abuse.
In situations like this, you should decide whether the relationship is healthy or productive to you as it is, or whether it’s best to let it go altogether.
I’m also not saying you should stop encouraging self-improvement in another.
In a healthy relationship, we do inspire each other to learn and develop. But you need to be careful with this and be aware of whether you’re doing this for them or because of your own needs or wants.
You must also fully accept the possibility that this perceived improvement may not happen.
So instead of putting any blame or pressure on them, simply decide if you’d like to stay in that place with them or walk away if it doesn’t suit you.
The fearless cycle
Allowing others to be as they are means that you too no longer need to be approved by anyone else or their behaviour. More acceptance of others = more accepting of yourself too.
And now that you’re no longer trying to control the other and allow them to be as they are, you’ll soon find they reciprocate and allow you the same.
You’ll be more sharing and giving, instead of wanting or needing. Whether personally or in business, you’ll be acting more out of passion rather than a desire to have – and this will be more attractive to the other.
This also creates a natural motivation to be more considerate or responsive to each other’s needs.
It creates a positive loop.
And regardless of where the relationship leads to, you feel more fulfilled & confident about youself and where you’re going – with or without them…
If the relationship grows even more – great. If not, you can more easily let go, knowing it simply wasn’t right for you.
This leaves you with a sense of freedom to move on, open to new people & opportunities!
The bigger picture…
Our relationships with ourself and each other determine our relationship with the whole of our experience.
By learning to allow the other to be just the way they are, you can then gradually learn to allow other things, events, experiences and generally the world to be AS IT IS.
Not to say we should kick back, relax and watch as we head towards doom. But we can learn to take action while accepting at the same time.
With less resistance or wanting to control, we’ll enjoy more peace, freedom and contentment. And we’d be spreading more of that good stuff all around.
If we become free of these limitations on a smaller scale in our daily interactions, we could begin to experience a BIG leap forward in our perception and participation in the whole of reality…
Making more progress with less suffering.
So maybe we can start here.
“As long as everything is exactly the way I want it, I’m totally flexible!”
~ Unknown ~
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