Impermanence

Nothing lasts. The only thing that’s constant in life is change. Our bodies change, our opinions change, our tastes in food, our favorite songs, our jobs, families, friends, everything changes.

Some changes are harder to accept than others. Evolution of relationships, for example, can be hard to accept. So what happens when a relationship has evolved to a point that it is no longer beneficial to one or both parties?

I have made a check-list today of things to go over when trying to assess whether a relationship just needs to be reassessed or whether it needs to be left.

  1. Are you being tolerant of the other person’s differences?
  2. Are you supporting the other person?
  3. Have you been open and honest with the other person about your feelings?
    1. If so, did they respond well or poorly?
  4. Is being around this person regularly hindering your spiritual, moral or intuitive progress in some way?
  5. Do you think the person is going to be able to be a good relationship-match (i.e. friend, significant other, family, etc.) for you at some point in the near future?
  6. Is being in a relationship with this person causing you or them suffering?

After asking these questions, if you feel that the relationship issues are a direct result of something you’re doing, then first remedy those things and see how the other person reacts. If you feel as though you’ve just both chosen different paths and there is no way to remedy the situation then the last thing I would ask is…

Are you willing to let go of the possibility that the relationship could end up working again in the future?

I assessed FIVE relationships today (names below were changed to protect anonymity). This is how it went…

Relationship 1: I have been very tolerant of Bob’s differences but I haven’t been the most supportive because supporting Bob is causing me suffering. I have been open and honest and he responded well. Being around him is not hindering my spiritual progress and I believe he could be a good friend in the future. As a result, I’ve decided to continue being open and honest and making my boundaries more clear with Bob to prevent my suffering as a result of my support.

Relationship 2: I haven’t been very tolerant of Suzie’s differences and as a result have not been very supportive of her. I have been open and honest but she did not respond well. Being around her occasionally hinders my spiritual progress and causes me suffering. I’m not sure if I could be her friend in the future. As a result, I’ve decided to attempt to be more tolerant and supportive of Suzie and see if she reacts differently to my actions.

I did the same with Relationships 3-5 as well. I found that only two of the five relationships were worth giving up. Most of the time, we should take the time to really assess why we’re isolating ourselves from others because many times we have more of an impact on the problems than we initially believe.

Family is the most difficult as many times we are not willing to burn those bridges in hopes that the relationship will eventually be healthier at some point in the future. Sometimes, we can let go and come back later on when we have a different view of them or they have a different view of us based on regular life experiences and lessons.

Regardless we should treat others and ourselves with loving kindness and friendship because it makes everyone involved feel better. Let love flow freely between you and others but set healthy boundaries with those than hinder your ability to love freely and kindly.

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