#33: Relationships

Relationships are strange because they're just the thoughts you have about someone. You can have a long distance relationship with someone and still feel close, and in comparison, you can have another person sitting next to you and feel lonely. It is your thoughts about the other person that is the experience of your relationship.

A lot of our relationship problems stem from wanting someone to be different. When we can drop that and accept reality as it is, it frees up a lot of energy to serve ourselves better.

While we can't change another adult person's behavior, we CAN change our own thoughts about it to better serve us. It's never the thing (eg. socks left on the ground) that upsets us - it's the meaning we assign to it (I'm being disrespected v This is low priority for my spouse but isn't necessarily about me).

We can make requests and set boundaries and have consequences, but another person's behavior is ultimately up to them and doesn't cause emotions in us. Even with requests and boundaries, we remain responsible for our own feelings and reactions.

Our most important relationship is the relationship with ourselves. This is the basis upon which all of our other relationships are founded. Loving and appreciating yourself is NOT the same as arrogance. We are all infinitely worthy. There is no "earning" your worth.

This episode also discusses having grace with our family relationships. The principle is the same. We can have boundaries and consequences, but their behaviors and choices don't cause our emotions. And dropping our "prescriptions" for how another "should" be is key in getting our own emotional power back. We teach others how to treat us, and in turn, our children are watching us as the example for how to treat themselves.


Louis Anderson's book- Dear Dad: Letters from an Adult Child


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