Wouldn’t it be awesome if life were that simple? You stick an “estate sale” sign on the boundaries of your heart and mind and just have someone come pick up your unhealthy relationships? You could be free of the mental noise and mindless clutter and that these unhealthy relationships leave in your life. If you are honest with yourself, I’m quite positive you have at least one relationship in your life that you wish were different. We know we all have them, professionally and personally. And we all know that we need to let things go, build rapport, have those crucial conversations, etc. However, when you’ve exhausted everything possible and nothing works, how do you move forward? How do you move beyond something over which you have no control? How do you not carry that with you every day? While I don’t have the silver bullet, I do have several things that I have learned through my reflection and with the wisdom and coaching of my personal coach:
1. Once you’ve exhausted all avenues to correct the relationship, give yourself the grace to realize you’ve done all you can do. In the end, some people don’t change – and you have to arrive at a place of peace with that.
2. Focus on yourself. Often times we allow others to take up too much real estate in our heart space. Give yourself permission to focus on the things you can control – which is your own response to the actions of others. Don’t allow your character to become the reflection of someone else’s poor behavior.
3. This too shall pass. My momma was the first to share these words of wisdom with me when I was heart-broken that Chris Adams wouldn’t share my favorite blue crayon for my kindergarten work and he pulled my hair (even though I was deeply in love with him). While at the time it didn’t help the soul crushing despair I felt over not taking our relationship to the next level – sharing the whole box of crayons, she was exactly correct – it does pass.
4. The apology or closure to a situation may never happen, in spite of how badly you may want it. Accept that and be willing to move on.
5. Practice empathy. Realize that everyone is going through something and we all hold on to past baggage. I heard someone say recently that it’s difficult to have a negative attitude when you’re practicing gratitude!
6. Lastly, remember – it’s never easy. Letting go of something is hard work – no matter what/who it is. And just like I have often thought of my kindergarten crush, it doesn’t mean you won’t forget about it. However, it does mean you have the emotional intelligence to move beyond it.