Being Born on New Year’s Day Taught Me How to Make Resolutions I Actually Keep

29 Dec

A lot of people embrace the new year with open arms.

But when the clock hits midnight on the night of Dec. 31, what exactly are we celebrating?

We’re celebrating a new slate. We’re celebrating the reminder (and human ability) to hold ourselves to higher standards. We’re celebrating the things we’ve gained, the lessons we’ve learned and the friendships we’ve kept. We’re honoring the failures, the pain and the losses — all of which are there to remind us that we lived through another year.

The collective celebration inspires individuals to be better, do better, live better.

We’re inspired every year. This will be the year… the year we run that marathon, start that business, reconnect with that person, have more patience, eat healthier, read those books, learn that language. This is always the year.

We live our lives in a linear timeline, broken up by milestones identified by years. And our emotions at the end of each year revolve around these experiences — involving both love and pain that we endured in the 364 days prior.

Birthdays, like New Year’s Eve, are mile markers for our experiences, societal expectations and our personal goals. At 7, I broke my first bone. At 11, I attended my first funeral. At 18, I graduated high school. At 21, I became an aunt. At 22, I experienced a series of traumatic events causing me to shift my love and purpose from traditional medicine to psychology and mental health. At 24, I moved to a new city and subsequently worked tooth and nail to make a living before landing my dream job at 25.

Life happens, and we’re able to recall and remember our lives from our experiences that are marked on a convenient calendar in our brains. But most importantly, new years and birthdays are a celebration of life and existence.

I believe we should try to spend every day working on ourselves, our passions, our relationships and on reaching our goals. By being able to divide life into separate years, it sometimes feels like time might be on our side; but life is short, and most people have two days a year (New Year’s Eve and their birthday) that are unavoidable… reminding them to check in on their paths, reflect, celebrate life and also create and pursue new dreams and goals.

I, however, was born on Jan. 1. I get one chance, and my friends and family know I take it very seriously. So how do I combine the madness of New Year’s resolutions and the mindset of being a year older all in one day?

Instead of creating an endless list of New Year’s resolutions that I will naturally not complete — because let’s be honest, we are all way too ambitious on Jan. 1 — I choose one word that will be my word, my way of life, for the year to come.

I wait until the first of the year to choose my word, and this past year it was rebirth. Of all my friends and family I’ve told, no one has understood why… I can’t even tell you why. I just knew at the beginning of the year, I needed to make transformational changes. It was something I was seeking, and I even asked my closest friends to send me a few notes of my flaws so I could internalize the need to be a better version of myself.

Accordingly, within a few weeks after my birthday, my oldest childhood friend and I had a falling out… removing toxic relationships from one’s life is important but nevertheless devastating. It wasn’t until March that I landed a job I love after eight months of looking for something that would make me feel happy and purposeful. It wasn’t until August that I ended a four-year relationship with my college sweetheart. And it wasn’t until October that I decided to go on a 2.5-week solo trip across the world to be reminded of who I am and find purpose greater than myself.

For 2015, I don’t know what my theme will be, but I know that no matter what it is, it will encompass a variety of goals, urging me to be a better version of myself every day. Maybe it will be trust and urge me to trust in my instincts, other people and even the universe, prompting me to learn how to relinquish control over certain things. Or maybe it will be healthy. Instead of setting goals to go to the gym more often or eat healthier, this can serve as a constant reminder for me to make healthy decisions when it comes to my body but also for my mental and emotional health. Or maybe it will be compassion, urging me to do affirmations in the morning and have a kinder internal dialogue with myself through the year.

Whatever it is, picking a theme will inspire me to take action and will inevitably lead to more positive and healthier habits, rather than having a to-do list that weighs me down and makes me feel heavier (and thus more disappointed that I am not crossing things off of it). I encourage you to do the same.

First published on HuffPost

10 Things Solo Travel Taught Me About Relationships

27 Dec

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This summer, my four-year relationship ended. So naturally, I booked a two-and-a-half week trip to Croatia and Iceland. By myself.

At the time, there was a part of me that thought I could run away from my heartbreak (spoiler alert: I couldn’t) and come back healed and unscarred (spoiler alert: I didn’t).

When asked, I’d explain the purpose for my first solo trip by telling people that I wanted to reclaim a self-reliance and take back a dependence I had on a man for the past four years.

I went on this trip with a void in my heart, exposed and constantly feeling like something was missing because my other wasn’t around. I mean, solo traveling as a mid-20-something female is scary in itself, and I knew that I was adding an extra, heavier layer of emotion by doing it heartbroken and confused.

I expected to spend the majority of the trip alone, I expected to have my breath taken away from the beautiful countries I was visiting and I expected to have brief interactions with people along the way. Beyond that, there were no expectations — mostly just anxiety and fear.

What I found was that the void doesn’t make me less whole or less myself. Losing a loved one didn’t take my existence, my half of the relationship, away. No matter what my intentions and expectations were when exploring the world, I never expected to discover myself through the eyes of strangers in foreign countries.

Thanks to my solo adventure, I was able to explore myself, the world and my place in the world.

With that said, here are 10 things I learned about relationships:

1. Everyone has a story (or stories) worth hearing, you just need to be open to listening to them.

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When I was on my very first flight (one of seven), I was annoyed that the guy next to me was trying to engage in conversation. I wanted to wallow in my anxiety while frantically texting and Facebook-ing. I was even too busy checking to see if there were any updates on my exe’s social media sites. Once I was forced to put my phone away, I learned more about the guy next to me. He was a 50- to 60-something Frenchman, born and raised in Prague, who lived in New York City and has been in Paris for a few years where he manages a language school. He was en route to Paris before going to Kiev to explore Ukraine. He told me some stories from his lifetime of travel and taught me a little bit about the world. This connection was incredible, foreshadowing what was to come, and to think I almost missed building this relationship because of fear (of missing out and leaving my comfort zone).

2. You’re not going to hit it off with everyone, and that’s OK.

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On my very first day in Dubrovnik, Croatia, I decided to fight jet lag and do one of the most touristy things there — walk the city walls around Old Town. There are only two entrances to walk the wall, so if you enter with other people, you are more or less walking together the whole way around. I ended up with three guys from Spain, visiting only for the weekend. We talked, we joked and they were kind of enough to take pictures of me since I forgot to pack my selfie stick. After we were done, I mustered up the courage to ask them to grab a drink or dinner together. One instinctively said no followed by no explanation, while another politely declined and the third just stood there looking in the other direction. I was so embarrassed and immediately decided I wouldn’t ask to hang out with people on this trip. I later went back on this promise to myself, and I’m glad I did.

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3. Language barriers only hinder verbal communication, not connection.

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In Dubrvonik, I was staying in a couple’s guesthouse, and their daughter, Vedrana, who happened to be my age, was in town from school. She invited me to go out with her and her friends on my second day, and I reluctantly agreed, not knowing what to expect. While she, her friends and her cousin were all fairly good English speakers, some things definitely got lost in translation, and one of the girls who went to college in the U.S. had to middle-man translate here and there. But ultimately, connection transcends language. We were able to find commonalities (like dancing) and build real friendships from there. I spent two days in their company, bonding over gelato, swimming in the Adriatic sea and teaching them American games.

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4. Getting lost is good for the soul.

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Five days, two cities, a table for one. Before this trip, I never had the confidence to sit at a fancy restaurant with a glass of wine and smile, because I was content with my own company.

In Hvar and Split, I ate meals, sat at cafes and explored the touristy sites by myself. I’ve never been able to draw from my own strength without someone cheering me on, but at one point, I went bike riding to the top of a very desolate mountain in Hvar (13 kilometers one way). It was physically and mentally strenuous, but I pushed through to see the lavender fields pictured above. In Split, I literally got lost; I was scared, I pulled myself together and I was able to find my way again… all alone. It was all very metaphoric. A metaphor for life… for heartbreak. Remember when I said there was a part of me running away from my feelings? Well, it was during these solo experiences that they surfaced, that I was forced to re-evaluate my relationship with myself. I learned so much about being a healthier individual and having a more loving self-awareness on these scary, yet exhilarating, adventures by myself.

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5. As Rumi put it, “What you seek is seeking you.”

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I left Croatia having spent a lot of time exploring myself. I very much accomplished learning and building a self-love and self-reliance I sought before the trip.

With these newfound discoveries and a growing love for myself, I traveled to Iceland expecting more or less the same lessons. However, I had an entirely different experience. I wasn’t aware consciously, but I was seeking a community and a community is definitely what I found.

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From the minute I walked into Kex hostel in Iceland, I immediately hit it off with a handful of people, all from different countries. They were all vivacious, light-hearted, smart, witty, adventurous, and we all fed off each other’s similar energy, because after all, you attract people with the same energy you exude. The most amazing thing is that we were all individual solo travelers, with a desire for a shift of perception and change that pushed us each out our doors. To say I took this trip only because of my heartbreak wouldn’t do the truth justice. I took this trip because of a perpetual heartache I felt, a lack of connectivity with myself and with the world.

I needed to step out of my comfort zone and decided to do that halfway across the world. And there is where I found a tribe of individuals who felt exactly the same way.

6. How you make a living doesn’t necessarily relay the life you live.

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Work is naturally one of the first topics touched when you meet someone new. But I noticed that the combination of being in a strange land and with strangers, very quickly what is important to you and what drives you take precedence over your job. How you make a living doesn’t necessarily relay the life you live.

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When I think of the people I met in Iceland, the family that I made, I instinctually think of my favorite movie, The Breakfast Club. People know us, in our respective communities and lives, in a very certain kind of way, and they have seen us the way they have chosen to. But there, in Iceland, in a foreign land with only our hearts (some scarred) and our zest for life, we were, in some weird way, in a self-imposed detention — exploring each other and ourselves with much more depth. It’s there that we realized we were more than a writer/editor, a behavioral therapist, an accountant, a wandering guitarist, a beverage technologist, a student, a consultant and more.

7. We all want to belong to something that’s greater than us.

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The world is really big, possessing so much to be seen and learned, but the beauty of it is that it’s made to feel smaller when we’re lucky to be a part of something that’s greater than us. For some, it’s finding a tribe of like-minded people where you can feel at home. For others, it’s a pursuit of a passion or career that provides a sure sense of purpose. No matter what it is, or how you currently feel… we all have the engrained desire to know that we belong. Fortunately, I was welcomed with ease in Iceland, and I felt a deep sense of belonging with the other misfits and mischiefs. The home really is where the heart is, and I found a home in Iceland (and subsequently in nine other countries).

8. Never lose faith in humanity.

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I, along with four others, spontaneously decided to go for a hike one day in Iceland, but we missed the bus and couldn’t afford a cab to the mountain. A young couple from their Serbian donut stand nearby asked us if we were trying to get to the airport. We kindly say no, we wanted to go hiking at Mount Esja but we missed the bus. We walked away, defeated, only to get yelled back five seconds later by them. The girl, Tara, handed her keys over and said, “Here, you can take my keys and my car. I’m going to be here all day. Just fill up the gas and have it back by 9.” The man proceeded to drive us to the girl’s car and apologized for not being able to take us to the mountain himself. We returned the car later that day, bought some delicious donuts, made new friends and were incredibly grateful and lucky to have met this couple. It’s this kindness and trust that not only restores faith in humanity, but also absolutely started a cycle of kindness that we each passed on to other people.

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9. Being present should be a priority.

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I was sad the first few days of my trip; I was alone and in a strange city and heartbroken, but through my experiences and the bonds I made, I realized that whatever was important would still be around when I got back from my trip. I started to think less about the life I temporarily left behind in New York, and filled up that mind and heart space with the people and places I was with in the moment. I realized that worrying about my ex or my life in New York was only keeping me from maximizing my trip and fully committing to the relationships I was making, both with the countries I visited and the people I met.

10. Soul mates come in different forms.

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I’ve always been a strong believer that a soul mate isn’t just a romantic partner. This trip only confirmed that belief. I made a number of soul mates, and they each share different parts of my soul with me, some overlapping with others.

Alex, the strawberry-blond-haired girl, perfectly mirrored my love for life and the importance of transparency. We spontaneously danced in the streets while walking to dinner; tried fermented shark together; stood under the Northern Lights until our fingers were numb; talked about our families and heartbreaks and career pursuits. We were direct and honest and challenging with each other, but offered an unconditional support for each other’s choices. And since the trip, we’ve already reunited in San Francisco.

Then there were the boys. My brothers. As a solo female traveler, who was staying in a hostel for the first time, I felt nervous and wary of boys. But I honestly couldn’t have met and built bonds with kinder, funnier, sweeter, more inspiring or more adventurous gentlemen.

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These newfound soul mates reflected back to me my own beauty, helping me fall in love with myself. And as easy as it was to be loved and love each of them, I was reassured that true, real, raw love exists. It didn’t matter that none of it was romantic, I knew my heart was going to be OK.

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First posted on The Huffington Post

How to ‘Work Out’ Your Heart: A Guide to Building Emotional Strength

22 Jul

Most of us aspire to be in peak physical condition, so we take the stairs instead of the elevator, train for races or join a gym. We invest our money, time and energy into working out our bodies. We even plan our days around that cycle or yoga class, because, after all, if we don’t make exercising a priority, we won’t do it.

The benefits of physical exercise are endless and engrained in our minds at a very young age. However, an important workout regimen we overlook is the one that exercises the “heart” muscle.

I know the heart is an organ that needs standard exercise to thrive, but I’m talking about the heart in a figurative sense. Since it’s natural to associate emotional strength and well-being with the heart, what if we gave the same care and focus in learning to work out our heart muscle the same way we work out and strengthen our bodies?

Dr. Scott Bea, clinical psychologist at Cleveland Clinic, said it best: “It rarely occurs to us that we can practice new attitudes, new emotional responses or characteristics.”

Fortunately, some of the very same training techniques that we use to improve our bodies can also apply to our emotional and psychological fitness:

Warm Up/Cool Down
Warming up, stretching and cooling down are essential to physical workouts. They are what prepare your body before a workout, keep your muscles loose and bring your body back to equilibrium after. Similarly, self-love is what’s essential to opening your heart.

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Maximize the start and end of your days with repetitions of self-love:

As a warm up, start your day with self-affirmations to build your confidence and courage. Are you currently worried about something? Do you have a big day ahead of you? “Affirmations are a great way to center yourself, and how you start your day is critical to your overall happiness and how you live each moment,” international life coach Shannon Kaiser explains. She suggests telling yourself, “All is in right order, I am right where I need to be to get to where I want to go, I accept myself fully in this moment.” Or you can try one of these.

At the end of the day, center yourself with meditation. There are several ways to meditate and stay in tune with your heart and its needs. Next time you’ve had a busy day, take a few minutes to take deep breaths after work. This will help you know when it’s time to say no to plans, put yourself first or even unplug to avoid burnout. Before you sleep every night, take a few minutes to let your mind be at peace, either reflecting on your day or letting it go from your mind altogether. With this mindfulness, you’ll be able to better manage stress and gain fresh perspective on situations.

Build Stamina With Practice
Physical stamina is important because it is the power to physically perform at maximum efficiency and capacity. Similarly, emotional stamina is as necessary and demanding. Building emotional stamina is a matter of give and give — give to yourself and give to others. The more you put compassion and generosity into practice, the easier it will become.

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Compassion (kindness, empathy, thoughtfulness, giving) is the general concern for other people’s well-being, and it can be extended through the day to strangers or friends. Recognize we are all human beings with the same basic needs for love, food, shelter, acceptance and happiness. Maintain this perspective every day as you interact with people of all moods and in all circumstances. Gratitude is the second source of emotional stamina. It’s having awareness every day that you are alive and that you are blessed (in ways others may not be). It’s seeking out and appreciating the wonder in the world.

Exercises to improve your emotional stamina:

  • Volunteer your time with no expectation of anything in return; this can be lending a hand to strangers or signing up for a structured event. Furthermore, ask and learn about your company’s volunteer days policies and use them. “We don’t need a reason to share the love, we just have to take the step to do it,” explains Kaiser. “Simply ask how can I help, instead of what can I get.”
  • Raise money for a charity. (If done through a walk or race, this can be a good way to work out your body and your heart.)
  • Don’t hold back nice thoughts. Next time you’re thinking a compliment or praise, whether it’s thinking the person on the subway is well-dressed to appreciating how work was done in the office, say it freely.
  • Learn and address people by their names to create a personal connection or alliance.
  • Be conscientious of other people’s feelings and time: Is someone huffing and puffing in line behind you at Starbucks? If you’re not pressed for time, let them in front of you. Are you witnessing a customer rudely talk to an employee? Write a quick note or say something positive to lift the employee’s spirits.
  • On that note, don’t make quick judgments of people’s actions, unless you know their whole story. And don’t be a lesser version of yourself, because someone else isn’t being his or her best self. Who you want to be is dictated solely by your choices.
  • Make a gratitude list of 10 things you are grateful for, every day, for a month. You’ll find that you’ve started to take people and overlooked luxuries (like the ability to have Internet to read this post) for granted. Professor of Psychology at UC Davis Robert Emmons’ advice is to remember that the most important lesson about trying to become more grateful is to not focus on yourself.

You never know the difference you will make in another person’s life. And remember: What you put out into the world is what you get back in.

Endurance
Physical endurance is tested by the length of time of your performance rather than the level at which you are performing. The way compassion and gratitude provide everyday stamina for connecting with and living among others, positivity is absolutely necessary for your life-long capacity to endure, adapt and acclimate to anything that comes your way.

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In order to not only survive but also thrive in life, you should be equipped with these three things:

  • The understanding that you have everything it takes to get through your struggles.
  • Faith in yourself, in humanity and perhaps in anything greater.
  • Knowledge that sometimes coincidences aren’t real, and sometimes, everything just happens for a reason. As The Huffington Post President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington says in her book Thrive: “We don’t have to know what coincidences mean, or arrive at some grand conclusion when we encounter them … the combination of improbability, timing, and felicity has a kind of magic power. To the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, coincidences were the ‘wonderful pre-established harmony’ of the universe.”

If you are able to look at the bright side and understand that each struggle is a greater opportunity for transformation, you can endure all that doesn’t kill you. The optimistic heart is one that is resilient, one that can cope better and one that suffers lower rates of depression.

Stretch Out of Your Comfort Zone
Being physically flexible allows you to maximize and utilize the full range of motions of your body. The same applies to emotional flexibility. It’s essential to become flexible as your life and the people in it change (for better or worse).

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Patience provides the heart with the necessary range of movement to deal with various situations. Along with patience comes the practice of forgiveness. This is simply accepting that other people’s choices are their own and not relative to you — regardless of whether you keep them in your life or not.

Exercises to flex your heart muscle:

  • Be tolerant of other people — their opinions, their belief system, their way of living and their situations — and respect their individuality.
  • Know the difference between what you can and can’t control. As my favorite quote by Denis Waitley goes: “Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.”
  • Act on your inspiration, the pull of your heart. Kaiser explains that, “this will allow you to be comfortable in the unknown. We can develop more patience by trusting ourselves more, we can do this by nourishing the nudges that come to us.”

All of these training routines are intertwined the same way different physical workouts contribute to each other. By practicing one exercise, you strengthen your heart to improve in the others, and in the process, you build emotional strength. Strength that fuels your decisions to connect with other people, be authentic and maintain a happy and positive perspective through life.

It’s time to be intentional and make working out your heart as important as working out your body, not just for the health benefits but also to be your best self and contribute to a better world.

 

This was written by me, published on The Huffington Post

We’re All in Recovery — Here’s Why

17 Jun

I published a blog on The Huffington Post:

Curious to see how recovery is perceived and experienced by a variety of people, I asked my network on Facebook, “What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the word ‘recovery’?”

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The results were fascinating and proved that recovery is not bound by a single definition; it’s informed by every person’s unique experiences.

Last year, I started a job as the creative director of a health and wellness startup targeting those struggling with substance abuse and addiction. The position afforded me the opportunity to attend an open AA meeting that changed my perspective on recovery forever.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but the attendees of the meeting were everyday people, most of whom were on a lunch break from their 9-5 jobs. I even recognized a few as internationally famous. But none of that was important in the 60 minutes we shared in that small room connected to a vast church, because all superficial attributes were left at the door. Everyone was connected by their mutual struggle with substance abuse and addiction, and that was all that mattered.

It didn’t take long to realize how courageous these individuals were for presenting their raw selves to a group of strangers. How many people are truly comfortable wearing their struggles on their sleeves? I also quickly noticed that the meeting was not centered on the specifics of people’s hardships; it was centered on how they transformed their struggles into positive disruptions, progress and success in their lives — whether it was over a five-year span or a single day.

Upon leaving that meeting, I started thinking about recovery beyond and away from the ideas of addiction and substance abuse.

What was I recovering from in my own life? Aren’t we all in some form of recovery?

Finish reading the post here…

 

Relationships Get Better and Other Reminders About Transitions in Love

18 Feb

In my last post, I discussed how we naturally evolve past some friendships. For this post, I want to briefly touch on the idea of dating, commitment, breaking up and doing it all over again.

People get really discouraged when they’ve dated a few people here and there and still can’t find anyone who is “right” for them, or when something goes awfully wrong in what was supposed to be the perfect relationship. Well, here’s a list of important reminders we tend to forget when we get lonely, lack a love life, are tired of dating, are in the process of breaking up, or see our exes moving on past us.

1) Relationships only get better. As you grow and evolve the people you date and partner with should reflect that growth, and therefore be better and healthier than the past ones.

2) Dating helps you learn about what you like or don’t like, want or don’t want, and most importantly need or don’t need from a partner and a relationship. It’s a learning experience that sometimes will not work out, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it. Every person teaches us a lesson on some scale and no matter how a relationship ends, it’s always an incredible experience. They don’t say it’s better to have loved and lost than not loved at all for no reason. 

3) Another person is not meant to fill a void. Loving someone else, deeply, or being in a committed relationship is not something that is meant to fill a void, and the same goes for having someone else love you. As I’ve said once before, having someone else love you doesn’t rescue you from the project of loving yourself. Two people come together as wholes to create something bigger – two better, more powerful, stronger whole individuals. They don’t come together to complete each other, only to complement one another.

4) Never settle. I know it can get lonely but never settle and waste your time. Otherwise, you are doing an injustice to yourself and your potential. Be smart, know your worth and be selective. Why would you want to have it any other way?

5) Not being in a relationship doesn’t mean you are missing out. If you aren’t seeing someone, take the time to know yourself, love yourself and focus your time on all of the things you have less time for when in a relationship – friendships, career, hobbies, sleeping, Netflix binging etc.. Love will come when it is meant to come, but waiting is a waste of time. 

6) Love is meant to be intentional. Don’t allow yourself to fall into patterns or habitual behaviors that you think equates love just because you are lonely or, for a lack of a better word, desperate. Love is a beautiful and intentional act and should only be given and taken very deliberately between individuals. 

7) Timing is everything. There’s more than one person right for you but timing is everything and not something you can control. Going back to point number 1, we meet people at certain times in our lives for certain reasons. It’s always worth it if you shared a deliberate, intentional relationship with another person. Always.

8) There’s a lot of people out there so don’t worry, you will find someone. I honestly and sincerely believe this to be true for everybody. But it’s not a waiting game, in the mean time are you your best self for when that person comes along? 

Have faith. It’s only getting better from here,

SK

 

Evolving Past Friendships

17 Feb

In my previous post, Learn, Protect, Let Go, I discussed when to let past experience serve as a reminder and when to let it go in present/future relationships.

In this post, I want to remind you to always be happy relationships happened but remember if they don’t stick, it’s for a reason.

We are an ever evolving species. We are always changing and growing so it makes sense that people grow apart. I have a friend, my oldest friend, of about 20 years (since 4th grade). We were inseparable for most of our friendship. We went to the same elementary, middle and high school. We went to different colleges but we still kept in touch consistently. Then a few years ago we realized that we were growing apart. I was heartbroken when she would say that we were no longer as close as we were or that I wasn’t her best friend anymore; but with some time I realized that she was right. We both started to value different things, want different things for ourselves, like different things, need different things in relationships, and have very different personalities. I realized that there is nothing wrong with this. We are still friends. We will catch up and talk, sometimes,  but we are just not as close as we used to be. We both evolved and grew….apart.

It’s hard to accept when you grow apart from someone you have been or once were so deeply connected to. We all want to hold on. We don’t want things to change or for us to grow apart from the people close to us with whom we’ve cultivated something very special and human. But I’m here to tell you that it’s perfectly normal and healthy. Be happy that you had these relationships – that you met these people. Believe it or not, everybody has brought you something- a lesson, a smile, an experience to remember forever, etc. – no matter how short-lived their presence in your life.

It’s perfectly OK to evolve past friendships because there are more fitting people waiting to fill your life with love. 

This same sentiment goes for lovers and exes who are no longer a part of our lives, but this will be expanded on in the next post tomorrow.

SK

Learn, Protect, Let Go

13 Feb

In my previous post, I highlighted three main points to dealing with the past and living in the present….specifically in relationships. In this post I am going to further discuss one of them.

Learn from the past but don’t let it hold you back. 

It’s hard to strike this balance, so here I offer three scenarios that I hope clarify when to be reminded of the past, when to actively protect yourself and when to let go…and let’s just say I am speaking from experience here.

ONE. They say the best predictor is experience but keep in mind that this is true only when consistently true. Let’s say that you dated someone and he/she cheated* on you once but you are willing to give it another go and then it ends with him/her cheating on you again. I think it’s safe to say that you shouldn’t expect a difference in someone who has already proven that they don’t respect you or are worthy of you.

TWO. Let’s say that you have been cheated on in the past and you are about to start a fresh, new relationship with a new partner. It’s absolutely not fair to assume that you are going to be cheated on again. Don’t have presumptions that this new partner will act like your last. Comparisons are unfair. If you can’t help but compare then you aren’t ready to be in a new relationship.

THREE. Let’s say that you started this fresh relationship with a new partner (and you’ve been previously cheated on by someone else), and she/he ends up cheating on you. I think in this case it’s both a) really really bad luck and unfortunate and b) your responsibility to be more selective when picking your next partner. Sometimes we go for the same types of partners or people and it’s time to branch out from what we are used to so we can experience something better and more worthy of us. 

Learn from the past, but learn to let it go.  Sometimes people will surprise us and act a way we never thought they could but don’t let that stop you from opening up in the future again. Take responsibility of your heart and be more selective. You deserve that.

Most importantly, Don’t let old scars ruin new loves. 

 SK

PS. I used *cheating as the character flaw, negative trait, or wrongdoing in the relationship, but keep in mind you can replace *cheating in these scenarios with anything, and it can be said for friendships and not just love.

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