Sep 06, 2019 | Your Relationships
Catherine A. Wood
When relationships are HARD...learning about YOURSELF is KEY 🔑 to more fulfillment in life and love
Have you ever looked at a child, perhaps your own or one of your best friend’s, and thought for a moment about what you were like as a child?
Children are so good at getting their needs met. We all did this at one point. We cried when we were upset, pointed at things before we knew how to talk, and most of us had no problem going to our parents or caretakers with lifted arms when we wanted to be held or desired some attention or affection.
So, what happens as we age and tend to lose that automatic habit of getting our needs met and demanding love when we need or want it most?
I often think that life would be a lot simpler if we simply chose to look at life through a child’s viewpoint.
Case in point, this past week, I spent a weekend with a dear friend and his family in Denver, from the Peace Corps. I was so impressed by his eldest daughter, my goddaughter, who just so happens to have an impressive social calendar.
I arrived on a Friday afternoon and observed her schedule of two playdates that afternoon and evening, followed by a sleepover the next night. And no no, not across the street or down the block, but an hour and a half drive up in the mountains at her girlfriend’s parent’s weekend home.
Delighted as I was to watch how simple it was for her to ask (rather beg her parents) if she could have an afternoon playdate, it left me wondering what makes it so difficult for us as adults to create meaningful and deep connections with others?
Even though it’s socially frowned upon to get your way through childish means, like crying or stomping your feet, it’s still possible to get your emotional needs met from others. But there is some prerequisite work you need to do for yourself. Discover 3 Key Practices you can implement right NOW to start experiencing deep interpersonal relationships in your life.
Feeling a lack of deep fulfilling relationships can happen to anyone. Even if we’re surrounded by people.
Loneliness is a choice
Living in the transient city of Washington, DC, I have suffered one heartbreak after the next as my best friends-turned-family, move on to the next city or return home.
I have spent multiple lonely evenings at home missing the age-old tradition of being able to call my best friend down the street to ask her if she wanted to come over and play.
(Heck, I actually used to do this with one of my best friends and would invite myself over for the weekend to spend quality time with them in the suburbs back when I was single and they still lived locally. 🙂
I’ve noticed many clients feel an inability to make friends as they age or as they leave behind old friends when they move on to new chapters of their lives. Seemingly, having forgotten that they too, once used to call their friends and ask if they could come over to play.
I’ve struggled with loneliness a lot in my adult life, more than once having felt excluded by a group of friends or colleagues, feeling misunderstood, or like I didn’t belong.
But I’ve come to realize that loneliness is a choice. The better I get at knowing myself and appreciating the relationship I have with myself, the harder it becomes to experience loneliness.
As we come to know ourselves, we naturally open ourselves up to be known by others.
This lesson has been one of the hardest but most gratifying lessons I’ve learned. When I took back control from allowing others who made me feel any which way, I ultimately found the relationships I craved. I wanted a truer relationship with myself and deeper relationships with others.
Here are a couple of practices that have supported me along my journey and will hopefully help you too.
How to Nurture Your Relationship with Yourself and Enjoy Others More
- Practice spending quality time with yourself each day. Get curious about how you delight in spending time with yourself. Start taking some quiet time for yourself, to be with your own thoughts every day. If you’re anything like me, you struggle to avoid being task-oriented all the time. Putting down the chores, organizing, laundry folding, and email archiving, to give yourself some white space is an absolute must.💡I will be sharing a lot more about this in my upcoming book that will be launching next spring, so stay tuned.
- Self-awareness is key. Most of the things we do on a daily basis occur in the realm of our subconscious and we’re not even aware we do them. We subconsciously choose habits and lifestyle choices day after day. We’re clear that we’re not content, yet unclear that we’re constantly feeding our feelings with choices. This cycle is responsible for these disempowering emotions.Case in point, I’ve been a workaholic much of my adult life, I’ve realized in the past several years that because achieving something makes me feel good about myself, I will always find something else to achieve or do to continue feeding that monster (if that’s the game I’m committed to playing.) This is one of the reasons I have deeply benefited from coaching. I’ve discovered new insights about myself and incorporated new practices that have helped me create different outcomes and distinct experiences of my life including how to feel good about myself intrinsically versus externally.💡If this rings true for you, may I suggest you join us for Jumpstart Your Vision? Registration is open until September 9th, if you’re looking for more support as you grow your self-awareness muscle and get your ideas out of your head and into the world.
- Authentic Relating is a modality that has made a big difference for my clients, friends, my work with teams, travelers on our PACK Retreats, and in my own life as well. These are connection games that help individuals find a short-cut approach to creating community and lasting relationships. Curious to learn more about what the heck authentic relating is, here’s a great Atlantic article that explains more in-depth about these masterful games and experiences that foster connection and an opportunity of being witnessed and seen by others.💡We are looking to host a holiday-themed weekend event in December to bring some of our old favorites and new connection games to our community, while also introducing some of our amazing connections to each other. If this is of interest, please add in your availability here. I find that my network usually walks away from these events with new friends!
Are you feeling lonely? Do you struggle to get your needs met by others? Spend some time this week (during your FAB FIVE, maybe 😉 and journal how you’ll pursue spending time alone, connecting to your self-awareness, and how living authentically with those around you can/will make a difference in your day-to-day life.
Authentically and truly yours,
P.S. NEW & EXCITING events happening in the D.C. Area! Click the banner below to learn more about the Women of Washington event happening on Sept 11. Get your tickets now and reserve a spot for this event.
P.P.S. Are you traveling with us in 2020 to one of our fabulous PACK Retreats? If so, you don’t want to miss the live seminar about how you can fly for FREE. Click the banner below for more info and to sign up.
P.P.P.S. We have A LOT going on in September, so we’ll only be dropping in your Inbox every other week this month as we double down on getting out in the community more. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events!
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Visit this episode’s show notes page here.
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