Stop Being Self-Sacrificing in Your Relationships

We all find many ways to cope and adapt when our needs are not being considered by those around us. If our parents were unable to meet our needs as we grew, we often embody unhealthy patterns in our adult life, that can lead to loneliness, lack of fulfilment, disappointment or losses. If our parents lacked the maturity necessary to engage in a fulfilling relationship with us, we commonly learn to dissociate, cut off, disengage and become excessively independent. This dissociation can manifest as living and/or working alone most of the time, engaging in mental chatter and imaginary scenarios, constructing intellectual ideals that attempt to make everything right in the world or escaping into super-spiritual isolation. This dissociation is limited in its capacity to satisfy our hearts longing for real relationship, intimacy, creativity and fruitful exchange with others. In a short space of time, the natural laws of earthly life pull us back towards our emotions, our bodies and our environments. As we feel discomfort, pain or lack, we have a choice - we can cling desperately to our dissociated state or take this opportunity to stop living in our self-absorbed illusions. it's time for something better. The insecure people around us can, sadly, use our genuine needs as a means to control us. We can also get caught in a pattern of trying fix others in the unconscious hope that they will then be capable of meeting our needs too. This can lead us into a destructive, downward spiral of self-sacrificing in our relationships. We give up a valuable part of our self, of our soul, in the hope of gaining something better or warding off something ominous. When we need money, we might stay in a demeaning job far too long, sacrificing our talents, skills and personal development in the hope of surviving after a loss of some kind. When we've been starved of love we can cling desperately to an abusive or cold partner, walking on egg shells, hoping our behaviour will kindle a more caring atitude from them. In personal or professional relationships, we can go on giving too much time, too much attention, too much space or too much of our property until we're exhausted or feel shut down. It's time to stop self-sacrificing and time to begin genuinely receiving and giving. Notice when someone gives you a compliment, a bit of extra time, or a treat that is no loss to them and no cost to you. Notice when it's a pleasure to be with someone & you never really want to go at the end of your time together. Notice when you're delighted that something you have can be passed on or used to help another. Cutting off from your desire for an interesting conversation, physical affection, beautiful surroundings or meaningful activities, cuts you off from your soul and from Divine provision. Your needs matter. Healthy relationships are vital. Your feelings, emotional and physical, can inform you about how well your real, genuine needs are being met. The presence of people around you who are kind, patient, generous, attentive, open, relaxed and considerate is a sign that self-sacrifice is no longer necessary. You are safe to relax, to give and receive as your true self, as you build up one another and enjoy being alive and being together.

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