Letting go of what we cannot change is one of the greatest challenges we ever come to face. We want so desperately to be able to change other people, our relationships, the way they respond to us, how they show up as parents, sisters, brothers, partners. Most of us have an idealized vision of how it COULD be. We go down a path of “I wish my mom could just…” — “I wish my sister and I could be best friends.” — “I wish my partner would stop being so defensive and hear me.” We wish and we wish and we wish…and in our wishing, we stay stuck.
Most of us can conceptually understand that we are not able to change people, they must do it themselves…yet, even in that knowing, we keep weak boundaries, create patterns in our dating that support the pain we carry, and continue to hope for a future with that person that just may never be.
In therapy, part of the work often comes back to grieving and acceptance. We tend to hold on to a former version of a person, or an idealized version of them that we’ve created in our own mind, instead of grieving the loss. “My mother is not the mother I wanted or needed.” “My ex isn’t who I thought she was.” Grieving the loss is hard stuff, but it’s often where we need to start in order to accept, grow, and stop seeking from someone who can’t or won’t give us what we seek.
There is so much sadness that accompanies the loss of a version or vision of someone we had, thought we had, or always wanted. But when we grieve and set boundaries, we give ourselves freedom to seek it and receive it elsewhere. Sometimes boundaries mean that the person no longer remains in our lives. Sometimes boundaries mean that we stop expecting and work on accepting that the person has their limits that will disappoint. Whatever it is, acceptance gives you permission to stop spinning your wheels in relationships that aren’t ready or willing to do the work.
Grieve + accept.
Freedom is on the other side of our release. Release of them. Release of ourselves. Release of the vision.
Accept what is. Stay in the present, and redirect your energy back to the Self. You can have relationships that are rooted in truth instead of fantasy when you do. #mindfulmft
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