One of the the hardest things I deal with is changes in relationships. What happens is that I am super close to someone and then there are some feelings of distance and slight unease. I am changing, he or she is changing, the relationship isn't what it was. It doesn't even have to be that there is unease, maybe someone is moving or having a change in their own relationships (divorce, marriage, new partner, new baby, new friends) and it causes a subsequent shift in the relationship I have with that person. And I am afraid of what will happen.
Changes in relationships are perfectly normal things. They happen to every relationship, all the time. And yet, knowing this, I am still afraid.
Why? Because I have a tendency to make things about me. "If the relationship is changing," I reason, "it must be because of something I did or said, or didn't do or say."
But this is illogical and arrogant thinking. And it only serves to keep me stuck in a cycle of trying to do whatever I can to draw people closer to me, to make sure that the relationship never changes. I do too much, I offer too much, I ask too little for myself, constantly putting what I think and need second, or not even placing my wants and needs at all. It's a recipe for disaster, and NOT AT ALL the other person's fault.
See, here's the funny thing, when the relationship changes, it's not about me. BUT what I think and feel and do as a result of those changes: Those are ALL about me. If I'm feeling sad or angry or insecure or mean or resentful, that's all about me. My feelings are my feelings, my friend said to me today, but no one can make me feel them, they are my own and I have to be responsible for them.
So then, what's next? What to do?
- Cultivate the understanding that it is not about you when relationships change, evolve, transform.
- Come to believe that change in relationships is normal and natural, not to be feared or avoided.
- Accept the changes with grace, being mindful of your own desires to manipulate or control to have things go back the way they were.
- Check the balance of the relationship, are you doing too much, too little, being controlling, manipulative? Stop. Relax. Do the next right thing.
My life has been made amazing by the wonderful people who have come in to it over the past 4 years, but things can not forever remain the same. Change is necessary as we all grow and become more of who were always meant to be. When we want our relationships to stay the same, we are subconsciously asking the universe that we also remain the same. But what we really need is to evolve. To understand ourselves better and to be more mindful and fully present in our intimacy with ourselves and others.
This doesn't come when things stay the same, this happens only where there is change.