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Darren is a partner in a very successful law firm. He was the youngest to graduate from his class in law school and passed the Bar exam with flying colors. He didn't come from a family with money or connections. Everything he got he earned with his own sweat. So when he was offered a clerkship with a federal judge at age 23 and when he scored a desk in one of the most prestigious firms in Chicago at 25, Darren was well ahead of schedule.

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I am going to tell you something I once said, in fact, I said it often, for which I’m incredibly ashamed. It was so cruel. So heartless. Absolutely intended to cause harm. When I look back on the person who uttered those hate infused words I hardly recognize her. My current operating system is very different. I’m not her anymore, but I was, and I’m not proud.
I once lived with a man who would often meet me in the bathroom as I was putting on my makeup in the morning and would ask me one simple question. “What can I do for you today?”

And I would look at him, straight faced and steely-eyed and reply, “You could kill yourself, preferably somewhere outside of the house. If you could make it look like an accident that would be better for everyone. However, you get it done would be fine though.”

Yep. That was me.

Now to be fair, those mornings, where he was so interested in being helpful were often followed by days of abusive behavior. I can’t really explain what it was like, but let me assure you, as vile as that sounds, it was understandable. However, just because something is understandable, doesn’t make it right. It was wrong, and although I’m not really sorry for having said those things, I am sorry I became the kind of person who did.

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That’s a pretty extreme example. I’ve done other much less extreme relationships where I didn’t like who I became. I’ve been in relationships that left me feeling dead inside for lots of reasons. I’ve been in relationships that made me lazy, too apathetic to try. I’ve been in relationships where I wore jealousy and suspicion like a badge of honor.

I’ve also been in relationships where I bloomed, grew, and expanded. My relationship with my husband makes me grow and stretch every day. He deserves the best of me, and I thrive in light of his love.

The good thing or bad thing depending on what thing is happening is, what you become in a relationship doesn’t stay isolated in a relationship. Joy spreads throughout your life like a ray of warm sunshine. Anger and fear spread like cancer. You’ve probably heard the saying before, the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. That woman who would ask her “boyfriend” to kill himself, was also a mother, a business owner, a daughter, a sister, and a friend, sort of. Just imagine for a moment how my friendships or business were going at that point. If you’re imagining a sinking ship that’s on fire, you’re on the right track. Do you think there was a switch I could flip and just become a warm and wonderful person when I was with my son? Nope. No switch.

It’s not just romantic relationships. It’s friendships, business relationships, and everything else for that matter. I’ve had business partnerships that left me so stressed and wired I couldn’t eat or sleep. I’ve also had business relationships that made me more creative and alive. The friendships we choose over the long haul tend to define us in very tangible and measurable ways.

Every single thought you think and every single decision you make either makes you stronger or weaker. Humans do not stay static. If you’re alive, you’re changing, either for the better or for the worse, and the relationships you choose have a massive impact on that growth curve which is always either going up or down.

Should I stay or should I go?

It can seem like an incredibly complicated question at first glance. We make it a lot more complicated than it is. The only question to ask yourself is simple. “Do I like who I am becoming in this relationship?” If the answer is no, the big answer is, it’s time to go.

No matter how many days you have, life is too short to be someone you don’t like.

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Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan

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