Write | Inspire | Dream
Growing up in the millennial generation, we’ve all been exposed to a lot of toxicity. Like most people my age, I think many of the downfalls in my relationships have happened hidden behind screens and veiled messages. Face-to-face confrontation has become the less likely way to open up to someone about the doubts you’re facing. With that in mind, each time a relationship of some sort in my life comes to an end, I think about my role in that relationship and how it will affect me in the future. In the last blog, I shared with you how to recognize toxicity in your relationships. Today, I want to share with you not just what I’ve learned about myself from past relationships but how they’ve taught me to grow in life.
Addressing My Emotions
Every relationship in my life, both past and present, has taught (or is teaching) me something about who I am and who I want to be. Through these relationships, I’ve come to learn that each person has taught me a valuable lesson in how I can become a better version of myself. I used to hold a lot of resentment and anger towards the people I had felt wronged me. Although I could acknowledge what I had done wrong, the other person’s actions often outweighed my own in my mind. So I fixated on their actions and allowed the anger and resentment to fester. I hated that someone who was no longer in my life could hold such a power over myself and my emotions. When I started my Intentional Living journey, I began reflecting on these issues further.
I began addressing my issues of anger and resentment and their representation of toxic energy in my life. I wanted to solely focus on my role and my actions in these relationships. Because I knew there was nothing I could do to address the other person’s role in the relationship, I had to focus on myself. Even with my brother, as I mentioned in his blog, there had been so much unsaid between us, so much that I had regretted not talking to him about. Through my journey, I began to address that regret, even though it meant I couldn’t get answers from him. I don’t want to live my life with any hatred, or even animosity towards other people. I knew these negative and toxic feelings were holding me back from moving forward in my life, and I don’t want to live that way.
Addressing My Role in Relationships
It was after I lost my brother that I really began to understand the significance of face-to-face confrontation. I realized how important it was to be open and honest with someone about your feelings and to do it in person, although I still failed to practice this in my life sometimes. We all know how complicated it can get to text an important conversation when tone and connotation can get lost in translation. Each time a friendship or intimate relationship in my life has ended, and some time has passed for the wounds to heal, I look back at what I could have done differently.
Even now, with current relationships I hold, whenever I’m feeling upset, I try arguing the other person’s point of view and why they could be upset towards me. This helps me to see things from their perspective. Something I used to have a hard time grasping when I was younger is that not everyone is the same; we don’t share the same value or beliefs, even on a fundamental level. So now, as an adult, when I find myself feeling frustrated or annoyed, I think about why the person said what they did or took those actions. I try to look beyond my perspective and understand theirs. It helps me re-evaluate my feelings on the situation and how to approach it, or even if I need to.
Taking Time to Learn & Grow
When I was beginning the blog, I was working with a business coach for the development process. I expressed to her that a major fear I had, something that almost stopped me from moving forward, was the fear of getting hateful messages. We all see what kind of criticism, backlash, and hate people go through daily on social media. I’ve been following bloggers for years, and many of them are very open about some of the truly difficult comments they receive daily. I was terrified to put myself through that. I was scared about someone hitting my hardpoints, like my brother or my family. But then I realized, those people, whether they know me or not, if they’re really sending “hate,” it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with them.
Something I’ve learned about myself through all of these positive changes is that they are, positive changes. I’m growing as a person and I am proud of that. I have made incredibly impactful changes since I took control of my life back in June of 2020. I started taking care of my mental health and addressing concerns I had like my anger, depression, and never coping with the loss of my brother. My body became a top priority and I started eating better, working out, and addressing serious concerns I had about my health. I changed my habits and routines and started implementing small changes that have led me to live a full and intentional life over time.
Over the last several months, I’ve put myself first. I’ve spent a lot of time self-reflecting and have found ways I can continue to grow as a person. I want to continue to improve so that my future relationships can thrive. I want my friends and family to feel confident about having me in their lives. Although I have much more growing to do, I am working on myself every day. I am striving to be a better version of myself: a kinder, more patient person.
But as I sit here writing this, I can say with full certainty say that I am proud of the progress I’ve made and the person I am becoming. And as I continue to make changes and grow, I will continue to learn more about the people in my life and how I can be a better person in my relationships with them. I will continue to learn more about the world around me and those whose stories I haven’t heard. And I will educate myself so that I can continue to move forward, proud of the person I am becoming.