over the last few days, i have had multiple conversations both on the phone and via text with one of my oldest and closest friends. i have been able to bear witness to his evolution over the last decade plus and it has been absolutely phenomenal. the last two years have been especially critical.
i watched him end two incredibly unhealthy relationships with partners, advocate for himself in the workplace, move into his first solo place (which really is a game changer – if you are not already married, i couldn’t suggest this more), start seeing a therapist on a regular basis, pour into the friendships that are pouring back into him and truly making an effort to set boundaries in other relationships of his life, specifically with family.
something we talked about today is this disconnect when you are doing the work on yourself and going through these sometimes painful but nearly always positive changes yet some of the people you’ve had relationships for decades not only aren’t doing the work but don’t even acknowledge that there is work to be done. a lot of feelings end up coming up for the person doing the work. first, i think the worker ends up feeling compelled to bring everyone on board. this isn’t noah’s ark and not everyone wants to get on board. then, the worker ends up being angry or frustrated that others aren’t doing the work. next, the worker almost feels badly for the others because the worker knows how much better life is when the work is being put in. but the best step is moving towards a combination between acceptance+indifference —> healthy distance. accept that everyone isn’t ready or willing to do the work and then don’t use energy on them that they won’t even use on themselves. this often leads to creating healthy distance between the worker and the others. doesn’t mean that the worker doesn’t love the others but the worker loves themselves enough to demand more. that brings me to my quote of the week…
“you will outgrow people when you start doing what is best for you.”
simple. to the point. ridiculously accurate.
here’s the thing: it doesn’t mean that outgrowing others isn’t uncomfortable or even painful at times, but from what i have seen in my friend’s life (who i mentioned above), the lives of my clients and even my own life, i have found that i am better off with the people left in my circle. and those people tend to be other workers who committed to self-improvement.
don’t forget to do what’s best for you.