How to Build New Relationship Stories
Last weekend, I celebrated my birthday with a gathering of friends from various areas of my life. It was unusual for me to bring together so many people from so many different parts of my life. It was exciting, and more people came than I expected. It was particularly special, because everyone that was there I cared about deeply and wanted them there to celebrate with me.
I had a great time.
Even so, I had a conversation with one of my good friends who I could be honest with a few days after the celebration. She asked me if I had enjoyed myself, and I immediately responded that I did, which was true. After some hesitation, I added however, that it was actually hard to process because it was a new experience to have so many people gather on my behalf and support and celebrate something meaningful with me in that way.
I was so unaccustomed to such an occasion, that I didn’t know how to understand the event of being celebrated and cheered on.
I realized that my experiences with friendships in the past, had built stories of what relationships are about that just don’t resonate anymore.
The relationships you have experienced will often cause you to form stories about relationships and yourself.
Past experiences with relationships (with anybody you’ve had any type of relationship with), whether you experienced rejection, hurt, or simply the feeling of someone acting in a way that you did not expect – can impact you in the future, even after healing from those wounds and moving on.
But at some point, it is a healthy thing to build new relationship stories.
How can we start to build new (and truer) relationship stories in our lives?
1) Remember WHO you are and who you are not. (Example: I am considerate, I am funny, I am loved by God and others.)
2) Say these truths to yourself OUT LOUD. It may be uncomfortable at first, but there is power in putting this truth in the atmosphere and speaking it from your mouth.
Remembering who we are and who we are NOT will help us remember who we are in the context of our relationships. This will help us know who we are (which is wonderful, amazing, incredible btw!), no matter what happens in our relationships.
Even better yet,
you will be able to enjoy healthy and affirming relationships the way they were meant... to be a gift to you.
You are wonderful, dear friend.