My special guest blogger author, motivational speaker Jennifer Bridgeforth talks breakups..and breakdowns..
No one likes to break up. No one. If you do, give me a call, because we need to talk!
Anyway, as with so many other things in our lives, everything and everyone is a teacher. The quicker we can be accepting of that fact, the better angle we have when looking at our accomplishments and disappointments. I have been in the middle of breakups more than I can remember, but the last one that I had was not only very telling about the man, but quite revealing about me. Just for background information: I come from a two-parent family, I love relationships, I haven’t cheated on anyone since high school, I’m attentive, I love sports, blah blah, etc.. These were all the things that he always loved about me. Then one day, while having a phone conversation, he told me he didn’t like me anymore, and didn’t know why, because I was everything he ever wanted. Two tears and a blank stare. Needless to say, I was stunned, and as my southern mom would say – I needed to take to my bed for a few days. As I lay in bed in tears, I really started to take spiritual inventory. I asked myself an important question: Are you really surprised, or do you just think you should be? Where did that come from? It was a harsh question, but it was one that we all need to answer. As I took inventory of the relationship, a few realizations came to me. Although he was an amazing person – smart, funny, accomplished, and handsome, something deep inside had told me from the beginning that he didn’t really know what he wanted, but was pretty sure that I was what he needed. That’s why he kept me around, but that’s not enough to sustain a relationship. I always had a bit of a feeling that I was more present than him. I felt that he was a priority to me, and I was an option to him. He was a fixture, and I was his accessory. Growing up in a household where I was taught that the man is the head of the home, what I had to learn was that even though I was more than happy to create a nest without thorns for him to come home to, I am equally deserving of being honored and appreciated for that level of landscaping. It’s only fair. We sometimes give ourselves away with the expectation of reciprocity, but some people will take the free behavior and not reinvest. They’re not necessarily mean or bad people, they are just spiritually frugal. They’re hoarding the emotions, as opposed to circulating them. Sometimes that is fear based, but when it comes to our lesson, their reasons don’t matter. We have trained them to not invest in a great situation that they can get for free. As I continued my conversation with self, I got up, dusted myself off, and asked this question – Is the problem that you are wonderful to people in relationships, or that you are not the same level of wonderful to yourself? Jackpot! Sometimes the issue is not the behavior, but the recipient – and if you are not as good to yourself as you are to others, then what message are you sending about how you deserve to be treated? If there isn’t a standard, then that is what you will get – someone who sets your treatment based on what they think you should receive – not on what you show you are already receiving from yourself.
For these reasons, I thank him for his abrupt departure. The experience of him taught me so many things about myself that were good reminders. After that, I started to cater to me first, and allow the overflow of that to also bless others. I also learned that people can only see and appreciate what they truly are prepared to cultivate. In a world where approval from the outside seems to be a constant requirement, its high time we approve of ourselves. Why? Because anyone you have to convince of your value can’t be convinced. Good treatment begins from within, so start your love right where you stand.
Jennifer Bridgeforth is an empowering and inspirational multi-hyphenate. Along with being an author, she is also an artist, a guest radio host, a college lecturer, and an empowerment and life coaching specialist – just to name a few…..
Follow her blog Wisdom In Pieces