Authentic Relationships: What’s all the fuss about?
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” – Anais Nin, American essayist.
One of the many gifts of being a boss girl is our natural, innate desire and ability to connect and be connected…..to our family, friends, lovers, spouses, colleagues, to our life’s purpose or spiritual path. We are relational creatures. We live in community, and seek out social interaction. We want to share our stories, bond through mutual experiences, harness the power of sisterhood, know our authentic self. The more connected we are, the more we feel at home, being in the right place, giving us a sense of peace and harmony.
Relationships are our life blood. When a relationship is broken we feel it, we don’t like it, we want to fix it, we want it to go away…..In short, relationships determine the quality of our lives; and the more authentic they are, the freer we become.
One of the biggest pitfalls we often make is viewing relationships as “things”…..as objects we have, or don’t have…….as possessions that are supposed to look and feel a certain way. Maybe we have a house, an apartment, a car, a husband, a wife, a sister, a lover……things we have, expect to have, or would like to have.
Consider, relationships are merely how we relate to someone or something.
Sometimes we can be very intimate and authentic with someone, knowing everything about them; and sometimes less so, or not at all. When we don’t have the connection we’ve perhaps been used to, we think there’s something wrong, that the relationship is broken, or that it shouldn’t be that way. We start playing the blame game, trying to find where the fault should lay…..and there’s never any cheese at the end of that tunnel!
Relationships are fluid, not fixed.
If you can begin by noticing how you relate to the people in your life, you will start to open up the way for new experiences. Ask yourself….have I come to some conclusion about who they are? Do I have certain expectations of them, or myself? Is it time to relate to them differently instead of judging them based on something that happened in the past?
3 Key Things to Remember for Healthy, Strong, & Authentic Relationships AND a Fulfilled Life:
- Know Thyself
Before we can begin to impact or improve our relationships with others, we must have a strong connection to, and understanding of our authentic selves. Do we know who we really are? Do we wholeheartedly love and accept ourself, and all our perceived flaws? Self awareness/growth is critical to be able to appreciate ourselves and others, and is the foundation for all our great relationships.
- Expect Nothing. Appreciate Everything
What screws us up most in life is the picture in our mind of how things and people are “supposed” to be. Being able to be in a ‘dance’ with our relationships, and to let go of any expectations we have of others equals less upset and stress, and is way more FUN! Appreciating all that life brings keeps us in good shape!
- Cut out the Me, Me, Mes!
I’ve always found that my life works best when I don’t have my attention on myself, and I’m focused on others. When I’m caught up in my own petty concerns about myself and my world, I become a small person who’s not playing a big enough ‘game’ in life. When I switch my thoughts to how I might be of service to others or support their goals and dreams, my worldview expands and I instantly become connected to humanity and being part of something greater than myself. However, this comes with a word of warning, doing this also means setting boundaries as Renee Cafaro writes about in her piece Setting Boundaries Can Set You Free.