Today I wanted to talk about something that may be challenging, yet important. It’s about relationships. We can become physically ill because we are connected to harmful relationships.
One of the goals I set for 2017 was to stop investing in one sided relationships. They made me feel like a kleenix…Just there to clean up the messes, just there for when that person had a crisis, and ignored otherwise. The other person never asked how I was doing, never invested anything, and I allowed the behavior. I allowed the behavior because my parents taught me to give, love. Love should not expect anything in return. Yet one sided love is not a relationship, it is charity. It is also bad for the soul to be in so many one sided relationships and/or toxic relationships.
We were created to be loved, not used. I read a quote that I loved. See below.
People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The problem today is things are being loved and people are being used.
It is noble to want to love, give, and invest. The motive has to be just for the sake of love, not to receive. It is also wisdom to not overgive, overinvest, or put oneself in the position of perpetual one sided relationships. It is not good for the soul. The soul of every person desires to be loved in return and that is not selfish. It’s called being human.
It’s also good to examine how the people in your life treat you.
Sometimes people are not depressed, they are connected to people exhibiting toxic behaviors (put downs, hyper critical, mean spirited, uncaring, unloving, jealous, petty, selfish, competitive, uninvolved, onesided, abusive).
I realized people treated me poorly because I just gave and had no boundaries on giving or who I let into my life. I was willing to befriend anyone and forgive behavior without always looking out for my best interests. Mainly because I thought looking out for my best interests was selfish. Others were looking out for themselves, I was looking out for others, and well there was mainly God looking out for me daily. I needed to look out for me too.
If we do not look out for souls, we can end up in bad, abusive, one sided, toxic relationships. Instead of blaming the other person, we can set boundaries and teach people how we want to be treated.
I am not talking about control or trying to get people to love us. It is about matching effort.
If person A never calls or initiates, pull back and let them intiate. If they don’t, it’s not just about being busy. People make time for what they want to make time for. If they care, they will find you.
If person B is always putting you down, why subject yourself to that treatmemt continually?
If person C flakes on you consistently, say something.
If you spend time with person D and you leave feeling drained or emotionally a wreck, why continue to subject your heart to the treatment? You can set boundaries even in family and spouse relationships.
Being a doormat or kleenix is not a good idea. People do not respect or value doormats or kleenix. They use them to wipe their feet on, blow their nose on, and leave them outside or throw in the trash. Once the purpose of that doormat or tissue is done, you will not see that person until they need you again.
Charity and ministry are very different from an actual relationship. Our objective is not to keep a tally of what we do for others. We should evaluate the relationships where we do everything and the other does nothing or only shows up with their issues, problems, or to make us feel horrible.
If possible, I recommend conversations. I told a “friend,” this year I did not wish to be friends anymore. She put me down, created drama, never took ownership of her behavior, was all in for our friendship as long as she had nothing else going on and then decided she did not have time once something better came along. I want to be treated better than that. I am also disinterested in friendships with people only desiring to be my friend out of loneliness. No thanks.
So my encouragement is, if our relationships are not healthy, it does significantlyimpact our health. They can leave us stressed out, and stress leads to weight gain, lowered immune system, and impacts soul/mental health.
Who are your friends? Are they adding value or stressing you out?
Are you investing in the wrong people? You can pour water into a cracked pot all day and it will hold nothing. The wrong investments are just as bad as no investments.
Are you hanging out with those who put you down or try to make you feel small? Why?
May the rest of 2017 be flooded with healthy, mutual, good, life giving relationships!