I cannot tell you how many times I have watched friends get so absorbed in a relationship and change in some drastic way and lose themselves. I, of course have never done this! (I can hear my friends Victoria and Lori rolling with laughter right now).
I can remember being so drawn into the other person’s life and habits that I did lose a little of myself and found myself taking part in activities that really were not any interest to me. Let’s take that a step farther and actually admit that I did things that I really did not like at all, but I did them just to be around my boyfriend and to play the role of the “fun” girlfriend. In one relationship, my boyfriend loved going to dive bars and playing pool. This can be fun once in a while, but every other night with all the smoke was not my cup of tea. Yet I found myself doing this more often than I wanted to and staying up way too late only to have a difficult time the next day at work.
It is one thing to compromise and do things your partner enjoys doing to be with them, but it is a another issue if you are continuously losing yourself and what it is you enjoy doing just to be around the other person. I know that this can sound “weak”, however I have seen some very strong people get swept up in someone’s else’s world only to end up unhappy and somewhat lost.
You do not have to lose yourself and who you are to be in a relationship. As a matter of fact, it is just the opposite. A healthy relationship will nurture both partners to where the two people will feel balanced and more themselves.
This is a difficult area to address because when you are in the midst of getting too wrapped up in a relationship and losing yourself, you are not even aware of it. Staying balanced and making certain that you are still doing those things that you have always enjoyed can be tricky. It will require discipline to maintain YOU while being with someone. This is where your trusted friends can come in to help you out. Share with them that you would like for them to communicate to you if they see you losing yourself or doing things that are out of character for you. The key is, that when they let you know this, you will need to be receptive to their feedback. Being willing to do something about it is important as well.
I believe that we all know when we are behaving in a dysfunctional way or in a way that does not honor ourselves, but for some reason we get hooked into the drama of doing it anyway. Having the inner discipline to walk away from situations like this or changing the dynamic of a relationship when it has already been established is tricky. You have to muster up the strength from inside and be determined to do relationships differently. Doing a relationship with consciousness reaps benefits that you have probably not experienced. It is deeply empowering. When you allow yourself to be completely and totally true to who you are, that is not only strengths your inner core, but will be extremely attractive to your partner. And if it is not attractive to them or they react with anger, then it will show you that it is not the right relationship for you. Remember that YOU are in this relationship too.
Whether you are currently in a relationship or not, this week take some time to do something that you absolutely LOVE doing. Make it something that you have not done in awhile. If you are in a relationship that you are getting lost in, this is the first step to begin finding yourself again. Afterwards, tune into yourself and feel how good it is to bring forth what you are passionate about and how empowering it is for your spirit.