I consider myself extremely lucky to be surrounded by some of the best men and women this life has to offer.
I’m at an age where (thankfully) I don’t just befriend anyone anymore and let them set-up shop in my life’s space – if they are in it, they are 100% worthy of being there.
But sadly – I know my people, my tribe, don’t always value themselves in the same way that I do. I know this, because of the way they talk about themselves and their relationships.
Honestly, I get it, I really do. I myself only recently woke up to the fact that for the previous year I was in a relationship with a sociopathic narcissist who was completely incapable of valuing me or honoring our commitment. And it stung. Hard. I have had to rebuild my self-esteem and self-worth from the tattered pieces that remained after I kicked that situation to the curb.
So I understand how it’s possible that we can all get in so deep that we lose sight of ourselves as well as our wants and needs…but…I’m here to remind you what it is you truly deserve in any relationship (including friendships!) and why you should never settle.
NOTE: Consider these the bare minimum expectations. If you find yourself using any of these to justify staying in a relationship – know that you are settling.
Kindness should be a non-negotiable requirement in any and every interaction between people every single day. To stay with someone ‘just because they are nice‘ is doing yourself a huge disservice. Anyone you ever consider being with should be nice. Don’t settle for someone who is kind just because you’re afraid the next person you meet will be an a-hole. Bringing you coffee randomly is sweet and all, but if they also hit on your friends or make you feel bad about yourself – you can get your own damn coffee.
“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins” -Neale Donald Walsch
If we all spent more time expressing gratitude for each other instead of picking out each other’s faults and flaws we would have a much happier and positive world. Recognition and appreciation for the existence of the ones we love and their presence in our life should be a daily occurrence. Life is short, time is fleeting and you deserve to be told what a blessing you are every single minute of the day.
We are all flawed, full of mistakes and armed with a storybook of old patterns and behaviors caused by previous trauma. What do we need and deserve? Compassion, support and understanding. What is not worth our time?
Judgement, resentment and abandonment. If someone truly loves you and deserves you, they will accept you exactly as you are. They will not constantly be trying to change you, point out your shortcomings or make you feel shame for your past. They should be building you up, offering their unwavering support and doing everything in their power to help you succeed.
Demand the truth. Always. Unapologetically. Without honesty, there is nothing else.
“But I love them” / “But I know they love me”
Look, I get it. I have used that excuse myself so many times to justify staying in a situation that I knew deep down was no longer serving me. But you can’t ‘out-love‘ a toxic situation. Your love for yourself, your sanity, your space and your life has to always be greater than the love you try to share with someone else. The love shared with a partner should enhance your life, not define it. Love should be part of the foundation of a relationship, that’s true, but it shouldn’t be the only thing holding the pieces together. Love interacts with all of these other things (kindness, gratitude, acceptance and honesty) in order to support a beautiful and healthy partnership.
I know I keep saying it, but please – KNOW YOUR WORTH. Know that you are special, deserving of love and full of light. Only give your heart and your time to those who also prove themselves to be worthy – and get rid of ANYONE the instant they make you question your value.
This post is dedicated to my best friend. Thank you for the inspiration. May you always know, remember and honor your worth.