As time passes by, I begin to reflect on the meaningful relationships I have built. Some relationships still last since elementary school, some relationships have been newly born, and some became a lesson. Time made me realize there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some people will teach you, some will use you, and some will test you. Most importantly a few relationships will bring out the best of you. Relationships are the most meaningful part of one's social life, yet they can be all too easy to neglect.
A beautiful metaphor relating to this topic by Dr. George King describes relationships as “a flower that needs to be watered by two or more people to survive.” In other words, it takes two to tango, and a relationship needs effort from both sides to work.
For this blog post, I will focus on relationships between friends, family, and significant others. Perhaps it's a stranger. Maybe it's an old friend that you rekindled a friendship. Whatever the case may be, there are things we all need to keep in mind:
You have to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with someone else. Happiness is an inside job. Relationships are like holding a mirror out in front of you. If you're unhappy, the unhappiness will manifest itself sooner than later. Mirrors are a perfect metaphor because they reflect all of your thoughts and beliefs. Hence, why it takes “two to tango.”
You could stand next to a stranger thinking they are feeling great. You can also stand next to someone that is completely broken down without ever realizing. The moral of the story is never deprive someone of hope. When everything fails, hope is sometimes all we have left when surrounded by darkness. Edith Wharton once said, “there are two ways to spread light in the world. One is to be the flame of hope that spreads light, and the other is the mirror that reflects it.”
A healthy relationship should never constrict, keep the doors and windows open. Plenty of air circulating ensures no one feels trapped. This is where relationships thrive. If someone is meant to be in your life, no matter if all doors and windows are open in the world, that person won't leave.
Compassion comes back around. For friends who help out even if their needs are unanswered, or those who feel abused in their relationship and feel as if things are unfair. For those who always give a helping hand and never feel rewarded. The universe has not forgotten about you. You are the unsung hero that many have looked past, but the world will reward you.
People are more of what they hide in silence than what they say. Pay attention to a person's gestures. If you can't understand them in silence, you will have a hard time understanding their words. Talk less and say more.
Every friendship and relationship are like sand held in your hand. The moment you close your hand and you clench tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You still may be holding onto some of the sand, but most have spilled away. When the bond is held too tightly or too possessively, it slips away and fades.
Some people are just not meant to belong in your present timeline. Sometimes people are just passing through to bring you something; maybe it will be a lesson, or you need a memory that makes you smile later in life. What this means is, when the time comes, it's okay to let go and move forward.
Surround yourself with people who are like-minded and driven. Relationships should help you, not bruise you. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. Choose friends who you are proud of. Choose the people who make your day a little bit brighter by merely being in it.
This world is filled with beautiful, joyful people. Take these tips to mind the next time you're having a conversation with a meaningful individual. STOP critiquing. START noticing. STOP comparing. START appreciating, and smile without hesitation.
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Call it intuition, instinct, or a gut feeling: if we followed it, we just might be a lot happier. Intuition is a skill we are all born with, but one we submerge in the business of modern living.