In this installment of Well.Fit Spring Clean we're tackling something that might be the most difficult and sensitive thing to tidy up...our relationships. Our guest blogger this week is Debbie Wren Hill, LPC. Who better to help us analyze our relationships, right? Let's dive in!
Spring has sprung! We are outside cleaning up our yards and inside organizing & purging from those spaces that accumulate stuff most of the year. How great does it feel to get rid of the clutter from our garden beds, garages and closets?!
Spring, a time of new life and fresh starts, could also be a season for considering our relationships carefully - you know, the ones that might be running on auto-pilot most of the year.
In keeping with the cleaning out theme, consider your relationships like you would your wardrobe.
- There are those relationships that we are basically bound to, like it or not. We can’t toss out the difficult in-laws, the obnoxious co-worker, a challenging sibling or an ornary old parent. Think, pesky undergarments – they might cause some constriction and crunch our style, but at least we can take them off at the end of a day. We do the best we can, set boundaries and remember the value of compassion – for ourselves and those we find hard to be with.
- Then there are the mainstays of our wardrobe, the ones we reach for time and time again. These are our favorite outfits, our most comfortable yoga pants, the fuzzy bathrobe and the pieces that make us feel like we were meant for each other when we put them on. The ones that have been with us through thick and thin (pardon the pun.)These would be our primary relationships- our best friends, a partner or spouse, close family members, maybe a favorite long-time neighbor. These are the ones that we would never consider parting with, unless there was a sudden tear, permanent stain or we just once and for all outgrew them. Here’s where we put our real emotional energy and where some cleaning up (vesus tossing out) might be important.
- Finally, there are those impulse purchases we make because the price is right, we thought it would go with those pants but it doesn’t, or it had appeal on the rack but never gets chosen to wear. These are the clothes we set aside for donation to charity or send to consignment. They might be right for someone, but not for me, now. Do you have a current relationship like this is your life? One that doesn’t bring joy - or juice - to your life? One that no longer serves you, though it might have for a while? Does it now feel more like a chore to get together? Would you agree that life is both too busy and too short to spend precious moments socializing / recreating with someone(s) that you suspect no longer suits your wardrobe? Maybe it’s time to send them some…good will…and move along.
Healthy relationships, the ones we know we are gonna keep around, require food. Largely this means regular contact and connection. Create “habits of connection.” If you have a wilting relationship, try feeding it with larger doses of equal parts listening / talking. Continue striving to accept those challenging individual differences. Practice good self-care so that you can bring your best self to all your relationships.
And finally, don’t let complacency get the best of you. Keep exploring ways to expand your awareness about yourself and others. Personal growth and development, we call that. We are constant sudents, and relationships are far and above our best teachers.
“A healthy relationship doesn’t drag you down. It inspires you to be better.”
-Mandy Hale –
A bit more about Debbie:
Hill maintains an independent counseling practice and passionately teaches workshops introducing adults to The Enneagram – an ancient and remarkable system for learning about personality types. (Personal growth and development.)
Her next workshop will take place, across the street from Well-Fit, in late May. If interested in learning more or receiving registration information, she can be reached @ 828-230-8466 or firstname.lastname@example.org.