If there’s one thing I really want to self-actualize in 2021, it’s to stop investing energy into connections with others where it feels like I’m doing the majority of the work to keep them going and instead do something I normally don’t do very well, which is to just let those relationships go.
For most of my life, this has been a most frustrating pattern where I find myself consistently getting involved into connections with others who rarely seem to put as much energy and effort into building the connection with me. The result of this tends to be a very superficial-feeling relationship of me doing the majority of the calling, as well as the majority of setting forth any plans to connect further.
I’m quite sure this pattern can be traced back to my childhood where I constantly sought the love from an alcoholic mother and father and struggled to get that on an unconditional level or at all. While I’ve worked hard on forgiving them for this shortcoming and equally as hard at learning to give it to myself, I still find myself allowing a number of individuals to be in my life who remind me so much of that lack of unconditional love I received from my mother and father.
I truly believe we are all brought here to have close connections with each other, to offer tokens of unconditional love to each other on a regular basis, and to show how much each other matters. Sadly, in this world though, there tends to be far too much selfishness and self-centeredness where people take more from their connections than give and rarely even realize they’re doing that.
I went through long periods in my life where addictions caused me to be just that, a taker more than a giver in just about every connection I had. I try so very hard today to not be that way and instead, show the people in my life how important they are to me. But, it is also important to me in my life now to feel that in return. I deserved that as a kid but didn’t get it and I still deserve it now, except now I have a choice when a relationship begins to feel one-sided.
Now, I need to choose to let those connections go, when they really start to become unfulfilling, when they’re no longer leaving me feeling uplifted, and tend to become more and more draining as I find myself regularly questioning if I even matter to them. Because the longer I choose to stay in those type of connections, the more I seem to become codependent, needy, and empty-feeling as a result.
What I’ve learned in my life throughout my recovery from addiction is that a real friend, a healthy connection, and a spiritually growing relationship is one where you don’t question things like this, where you don’t find yourself chasing after another, wondering why the other person isn’t calling or why they’re making greater efforts with others but not you. Because real friends, healthy connections, and spiritually growing relationships equally do the work to help it grow and generally leave both people feeling energized each time they connect, rarely leaving either wondering whether they matter to the other because each are regularly showing the other how much they do without ever even having to ask for that.
So, 2021 is going to be the year where I let all those connections go that aren’t connecting and aren’t uplifting, that feel more one-sided than not, that leave me feeling like I’m doing the majority of the work. In their place, I ask God to begin bringing people in my life now who will want to grow a deeper connection with me and who are going to leave me feeling like I do matter to them without me having to ever seek that, because I love myself enough now to know I deserve that…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson