Susan Apolon, author of Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two: Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope
As you begin to get more comfortable with trusting what your intuition tells you, you’ll inevitably identify relationships that are unhealthy. (Again, another person or group can be bad for you without being inherently bad itself! Your first instinct might be to try to “make it work”—after all, no one wants to hurt another’s feelings unnecessarily.
Realize, though, that it’s okay to extract yourself from a negative relationship, or at least to back off and relate to the person on a more superficial level. You’re not betraying or dishonoring the other party—you’re honoring yourself. This is something we all need to do more often.
Practice the fine art of forgiveness. If you’ve ever realized that a relationship was bad for you—especially if the other party treated you with malice, disrespect, or spite—you might have walked away with hard feelings. First, acknowledge your anger or resentment. Then, get rid of it through forgiveness.
Refusing to forgive other people for their wrongs (or for what you perceive as their wrongs) is one of the most toxic acts a person can commit against herself, while forgiveness is a function of love.
Forgiveness doesn’t stop with other people. You must also forgive yourself for any mistakes you think you may have made, including selling yourself short by accepting a less-than-ideal relationship. It may help to remind yourself that right now we are all exactly where we are supposed to be on our spiritual journeys. That doesn’t mean you should stop striving to improve the aspects of yourself you know need work. It does mean realizing you are human.
Pamper yourself regularly (wine, chocolate, and massages encouraged!). Think about it this way. If you are frazzled, tired, and overextended, how are you really going to be able to show other people genuine concern, compassion, and love? In order to be a fair partner in a relationship, you need to have a good stock of energy and positive emotions. And that means taking good care of you.
In other words, make sure you eat healthy (and delicious!) foods, get out in the fresh air and exercise, and allow yourself plenty of spirit-nourishing downtime. Regularly allow yourself little treats that make you feel calm and happy: a bubble bath, a coffee break, a walk in the woods, or a rejuvenating nap (preferably in high-thread-count sheets!).
People tend to think they ‘should’ deny themselves and lavish attention on others, but they’re wrong. You are God’s creation just like everyone else. Why wouldn’t you honor yourself? You really can’t love others if you don’t first love yourself. You are your most significant other. Do not forget this—ever!
About the Book: Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two: Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope $24.95
http://www.healingstoriesoflovelossandhope.com/ is available at bookstores nationwide and from major online booksellers.
For more information, please visit http://www.HealingStoiresOfLoveLossAndHope.comor http://www.TouchedByThe Extraordinary.com