The recent Venus retrograde has had me musing on the importance of the people we surround ourselves with. This recent retrograde (although there are many more aspects to it) overall had many of us reevaluating the relationships in our lives. What meaning do they hold for us? Do we feel that they are positive or negative? How do they make us feel? Are the interactions genuine?
The people that we surround ourselves with have a very important impact on our lives. Whether it be an acquaintance or close relationship, it doesn’t matter. We are choosing to have that person’s energy and attitude around us, and this in turn reflects a part of us to the world.
Recently I had someone comment to me that they have just spent a few hours with so and so and how they were counting the minutes to leave. And here is this person in front of me looking drained, tired and just downright in a bad mood. So I simply asked her “well, if the time spent with this person is disagreeable then why do you continue to spend time with them?” She looked me with a half blank stare, half incredulous look. The idea of saying “no” or evaluating the quality of the interactions hadn’t even been an option. And many of us find ourselves in situations such as these.
As a society in general we often feel the need to fill up our days with people, places and things so that we can have a full agenda. Yet we often fail to really look at the quality of those three that we are choosing to spend our time and energy on. The people we choose to have in our lives have an incredible impact on our quality of life. Interactions with people should be meaningful. There should be a healthy back and forth flow of energy between the two people where both are gleaning some sort of meaningful experience. But if this flow is unbalanced then our experience is changed and many times lessened. In the case above the person had just come back from spending time with someone whose life was “in a mess” pretty much all of the time was always “feeling lost” so they reverted to her for a lift up. This is not a healthy interaction because one person gets drained. The other is not taking responsibility for their decisions in how they create their life and uses the other person as an emotional crutch. The energy flow here is one way only, and after awhile we begin to lose any meaningful experience from this interaction. (And this also goes vice versa as we too can put ourselves in the other’s role). This may sound like a selfish viewpoint as we are often taught to help others as much as we can. And this is true as part of our role as friends should be to help and support in times of need. It is when these times of need become a regular state of being that the energy in the interaction shifts. Although we mean to be helpful, in a case such as this one we end up being detrimental as we are enabling the other person to not take responsibility for themselves.
Consciously choosing to have meaningful interactions in our lives is in essence honouring ourselves. We are saying that we deserve to spend our time in fulfilling ways that will not only enrich our own lives but also the lives of the people we are spending that time with. We are honouring ourselves and those around us. Is this not a beautiful way to move through life?
Although the process of shifting into this state of being can be difficult, it is not impossible. Here are some ways to begin creating healthy and happy interactions:
1. Learn to say “no”: If you find yourself saying yes to people because you feel obligated even though you know you will come back drained, then slowly start saying no to the invites. Learning to say no is the key element in creating harmonious interactions around us. This can be done politely of course, and you will start to feel a sense of liberation at taking the control of your own time back and setting limits to what you will and will not accept as part of your life experience.
2. Examine where you are delegating your time: Which relationships and interactions make you happy? Which ones do you feel “full” with? And how much time you are setting aside for these people? Is there an imbalance in time spent with meaningful relationships and those that are there out of a sense of obligation? If so, start to shift the balance back. Start taking some of that “other” time and spend it with those most important to you.
3. Spend time with yourself: I will probably touch on this theme over and over again thoughout my different posts, and this is because I feel it is paramount to leading a happy life. It is through spending time with yourself that you begin to truly honour yourself and this life you are choosing. Once you have a solid understanding and love of yourself, you can then better see the importance and value of those around you and how they contribute to your life.
4. Give yourself permission: This is probably one of the most important steps of all. The thought of saying no to someone or slowly distancing yourself from them is usually brings on a tsunami of guilt. But as I said before, in the end it works out for all involved. Each person then has room for interactions that hold meaning and help move them along their path. So allowing yourself to do this is important. You are giving yourself permission to put your happiness and time first. Remember that this also benefits the other people involved as you are also providing them with the opportunity to take charge of their own life and make room for meaningful interactions.
Our time spent on this planet is a gift. We are here to experience the beauty of being human and the experiences this has to offer. How we choose to spend our time therefore is what makes this either a happy experience or an unpleasant one. Every single moment that we stand here breathing is unique and special. It is a gift. Therefore each moment should be shared with those that add to our lives, creating beauty and meaning for everyone involved as we move along the path of Life.