How to Improve Any Relationship
Occasionally I have this struggle of not wanting to show up for my family and my spouse. When I say 'show up' I'm talking about not wanting to be around them. At times I feel annoyed at the kids, everyone begging for my attention, talking at the same time, pulling on me. I just want some space and some peace + quiet. I get tired of cooking dinner, especially when nobody wants to eat it. Things like picking up around the house start to feel pointless because after 10 minutes you can't tell anyway. Every time I start feeling this way I think it's because I'm not taking care of myself good enough. I think that I just need some time alone. The problem with that sort of thinking is that I'm putting them on hold to figure out what I need. I've come to realize that the opposite is actually true. What I need to do is to put myself on hold, and start showing up for them. When I do this, magic happens.
If you want to improve any relationship, there is one thing that you need to do. Serve with love. That sounds so basic, but let's take a moment to really think about this. What does it mean to you to serve your children? What does it mean to serve your spouse? What does it mean to serve your friends? Your co-workers? I can tell you, it's not about you.
It's not about you
Wait, what? It's not about you. You don't have to have it all figured out. Whatever you are doing, whether you are just a stay-at-home mom staying at home raising your kids, or if you're trying to start a side business. Maybe you are searching for your purpose and you have that unrest. You don't have to have it all figured out.
You don't need to know all the details in the moment because when you start focusing on yourself so much you start to get in your own way. When you don't know what you want the thing to do is to let it go so that it can come to you. It's the same concept as when you can't think of someone's name. You try + try + try to remember, but the name doesn't come to you. And then you decide it doesn't matter anyway, and a minute later the name pops into your head. Let go of your attachment to yourself, be open to receiving what will come.
You let go of yourself by stopping whatever you're doing. If you're starting a business and you feel unsure of how to proceed, cut the amount of time you are working on it in half. If you're searching for your purpose, stop completely. Take a look at your life and see what you are over doing. Reading too much? Instagram? What is so important that you don't have time for your family? Think about it.
If you want to spend all your time on self-care or creating a business, but you're neglecting the relationships around you, what is the quality of your life? If you pay attention to your relationships and really start serving, you will find magical inspiration for your personal self.
Start Showing Up
It's time to start showing up, and it's up to you to decide what that will look like. That old saying, treat others as you would like to be treated, definitely has some worth. How do you want to be treated? And don't say you just want to be left alone. We are humans; we need connection. That's why social media is so blown up. But, social media connections don't count. We need real life connections. We need real life friends. Think about how you want to be treated, and start serving that to those around you.
I find it best to sit with my notebook and write about my different relationship roles. I like to examine how the relationship is in the present moment and how I feel about that situation. Then I dream about what I want it to be like. Even if it currently seems impossible. To make improvement you have to dream. And then you look at your dream and you say, "If life could really be like this, what can I start doing to help create it?" Understand why you want something by asking 'so what' or why over + over. Really narrow in on the reason and remember that you are the only one in charge of your feelings. Do not depend upon others for how you want to feel.
When you feel comfortable with your vision of how you desire your relationship to be, write it down and put it away in a folder, and then start giving what you want to receive. For me, it's usually time. I want time all the time. If I give my time to my kids and I am really present in a valuable way, their needs become fulfilled in a way that makes them okay with me shutting my door and being alone uninterrupted for quality time. You have to serve with love. If I spend time with my kids but my mind is somewhere else, it doesn't work. They can tell I'm not invested, and their need goes unmet. You have to be present + serve with love. Do this, and you will notice a change in yourself.
Get to Know the New You
You will experience more joy. When you start serving those around you, you create closer connections. Connections from the heart. And these connections that matter to your heart make you hungry for more, so it becomes easier to strengthen them. It's like magic.
When you have more joy, life is lighter, and it's easier to make time for things that you really enjoy. You can create more. Create more art. Start a hobby. Perfect a skill. Become passionate about something. Keep growing. Keep serving.
When you let go of trying to fulfill your own needs and serve others with love, there is a gap that opens up. Joy comes to you, and with joy comes clarity. Clarity comes from engagement, not thought. All the sudden you will know exactly what direction you need to go. You do not need to question yourself. You are enough, just the way you are. You matter very much. If you did not matter, you wouldn't be alive. Do not doubt that. The way to understand why you matter is found in serving everyone you come in contact with.
And at the end of the day, come in contact with yourself. When you are brushing your teeth, look yourself in the eyes. Answer three questions.
- Did you show up today?
- What was beautiful about today?
- What can you do better tomorrow?
Life is a practice. Everyday we have the opportunity to make it a little better. Take love and spread it.