Oh hey, it’s February! In the U.S. it’s the month where drug stores stocked with heart shaped boxes filled with cheap chocolates and restaurants come up with their best prix fixe options to try and entice amorous patrons. What’s happening for Valentine’s Day where you are?!
It may be the month of love in some countries, but it’s a great time wherever you are to focus on relationships. All the kinds. The romantic ones. The short-lived “fun” flings. The familial ones that we try to avoid. The friend ones that we savor. Even the one with yourself.
It’s easy to take relationships for granted. We’ve all heard the saying “you never know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. It’s also easy to let our ego drive our relationships. And to be victimized by what our loved ones (or former loves ones) did or did not do for us. Here’s a few tips this month of love to help you craft fulfilling relationships in your life.
Get Your Needs Met
Relationship 101: Get your needs met. The things is, you never actually took Relationship 101! We just learn how to do relationships from the environment around us. From our parents. From the media we consumed. From our own emotional instincts that have us get a little wacky in moments. What I invite you to do this February is get really clear on what it is you need from relationships: family, friends, romantic. After you get clear on what you need, start with yourself: where can YOU fill your relationship needs. Then from there, be the person who is at a demand for having your needs met. It’s too easy to have them unmet and then to be victimized by this. Demand better of yourself.
Creating the Relationships You Really Want
Okay, it’s fantasy time. Go ahead. Fantasize. What do you REALLLLLY want out of relationship. Yeahhh, picture that. Nice! Keep going. Got it? Awesome. Now, go and create that. Don’t let your stories of what is and is not possible let you off the hook. Be at a demand for the most delicious, rich relationships you can imagine. And if you have people in your life aren’t game for it, don’t be stopped by that. Maybe that means you’re dating someone you’ve got to let loose, or you have to reset your expectations of a sibling, parent, etc.
Circle of Compassion
Warning: Kumbaya alert. No, but seriously. I’m just going to leave this quote from Albert Einstein right here:
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Life is relationships. Create them all with more compassion and more love. A good way to start is by trying out a practice to widen this circle of compassion, as Einstein references above. This Chopra Center blogpost gives you a few ways to start with this.
As you continue this month with WY_CO, take a look at where you can widen your circle of compassion and create more connection with the world around you. Maybe take yourself on a solo date. Take some time to reflect and do a relationship audit to get clear on your needs. I challenge you to be a creator of a world where we can all have fulfillment and connection, starting with YOU.
Sean is the CEO of Joy Riders, a company designed to help people find ways to create more joy within themselves and in their communities. He is a professional life and leadership coach, who leads trips of people around the world, loves to identify wildlife, and is a total map geek.