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“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions. Only through detachment can reality be obtained.” Simone Weil
“Distancing, also called withholding love, is a form of manipulation used by narcissists to get what they want.” – Dr. Richard Grossman
Letting go of things without remorse, recrimination or resentment is difficult. Sometimes it is a career path we had our heart set on, a house or a car we thought was going to be ours, membership in a club we wanted to belong to or any of many other things. But perhaps the most difficult of all to let go of is relationships with people we care about.
Many people’s idea of a good relationship is when they can get another to do what they want or what they think is proper. Also, many people give of themselves under the guise of friendship but in reality they are keeping a score-card in their head that they think entitles them to demand their way on issues in the future. Others think that good communication in a relationship is very accurately what they want so that others can meet their demands more readily. There are also those that threaten to withhold love or respect as punishment if they do not get their way. And then there are those that are just plain abusive, who purposely distort things in order to intimidate or gain “leverage.”
These are difficult situations. Sometimes we have been in a vulnerable position where we have actually begun to believe the distortions and misrepresentations the others have made about our own selves. One of the first things we have to do is to detach our ego from the equation. Usually we cannot see ourselves clearly, and often the tendency is to beat ourselves up for things we shouldn’t. Also, our people-pleasing and our desire to be liked will cloud our vision and make us want to compromise ourselves further than we should in order to appease another. But if we are only hearing negatives from one person while all the others in our life are offering encouragement odds are that person we are having difficulty with is lashing out at us due to anger about themselves that they do not know how to deal with.
Having trusted others with whom we are honest and can give a detached view is invaluable in this regard. Once we can separate the true from the false, we have to look at our part in the situation and give the proper amount of weight to the issues on the table. And we need to remember that letting go doesn't need to be dramatic and we don’t have to lock in our thinking that it is forever. We can just say that for right now we don’t have the spiritual or emotional energy to deal with the negativity and we are going to distance ourselves for the time being. But most of all, we need to not delude ourselves. Love does not seek to possess, intimidate, control or manipulate. And once we can see a relationship for what it truly is, the answers about what to do become much clearer, regardless of the emotional sadness we feel.
Today, may I be realistic.
Have a great Thursday !!
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