Throughout my life I’ve had a tendency to loose myself in relationships. I would meet someone special (at least it would start out that way), then I would quickly wrap my world around him. If he liked sports, I’d buy a jersey. If he liked fishing, I’d be out there on opening day trying my best to catch one. If he liked yoga, I’d turn myself into a pretzel three times a week. Regardless of what his interests were, they would soon be mine and pretty soon, it was hard to tell we weren’t the same person. I even had one boyfriend that preferred me without makeup, so I have tons of pictures with my hair cut super short, sans makeup and I was happy…for a while.
At some point, I would start to realize I didn’t like getting up at the break of dawn (at least then anyway). And sports? I can take it or leave it. Make-up? I kind of like it.
But this would go deeper than just what I did or didn’t do on the outside. This pattern was also reflected wherever I lived. When I moved in with someone (or we’d get a place together), I wouldn’t care if my pictures got hung up on the walls. Or if he wanted to put the TV smack dab in the middle of the room, that was fine with me. If he wanted to get plain white dinner plates to eat with, who was I to disagree?
It took me awhile, but I finally began to see that trying to morph into someone that I’m not is not healthy for me OR for the relationship!
I actually “interviewed” a boyfriend after he broke up with me, and asked him why he thought we didn’t work out (unusual, I know, but I’ll tell you it was extremely enlightening)!
He told me that when he first met me I was like a shining light. I was into meditation and personal development work, I liked music he’d never heard of, I liked hiking and yoga and the outdoors. All these things interested him and he was attracted to me because of them. He said that after we began dating, I shifted my attention off of myself and was too interested in what he liked. He said after awhile, he felt he was in a relationship with himself. Wow. I was blown away because he had it exactly right – that conversation helped me shift how I treated all my relationships going forward.
I’m not saying I didn’t fall back into old patterns, but I was able to recognize when it would start happening and was able to shift the focus back to me and honor what I wanted. I also embraced the fact that I love creating interiors that nurture and inspire me and my family! I need to be surrounded by the things I love because the energy of those things brings me joy and a deep sense of grounding.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets with any relationship I’ve been in. Every person I’ve been blessed to share time with has made a difference in my life and I still love to do many of the things they shared with me; golf, yoga, meditation, water skiing, and singing just to name a few. In other words, I wouldn’t be who I am today without those experiences.
And I am clear as to why Mark and I have been brought together to share the rest of our lives. You see, he and I have such separate and distinct personalities, that finding my own voice and creating a space that allows us both to feel grounded was easy. I didn’t want to “be” him and therefore I’ve been able to spread my wings and find myself on an entirely different level.
Although we have a lot in common and enjoy many of the same things…I’ve just finally reached a point in my life where it’s more important to be a “whole me” than to try to figure out who I “should be.”
So look around your home. Do you see yourself represented by what’s hanging on your walls? Do you even like the furniture you’ve chosen or the utensils in your kitchen? Do you feel grounded and at peace that the space you’ve created nurtures and inspires you? If not, that’s okay, but why not go into the basement and dig out some old pictures or mementos that mean something to you and stake a little claim in your own home? Or if you’d prefer to start fresh, go out and shop for some new things that inspire you. Things that represent your interests, your beliefs and your character.
It’s time to help yourself find “her” again.