It Starts With You

M N
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This past weekend I found myself in a little bit of a debate with my boyfriend.  It wasn’t like a full-out argument or anything like that, but it was just enough to ruffle my feathers a bit. The truth is, I hate any kind of debates.  It just doesn’t sit well in my being.  All I ever want is for there to be harmony.  I’d take just some simple empathetic understanding over a more intellectual debate any day.


So when things got into a bit of a disagreement I found myself getting more and more frustrated, upset, and, honestly, just sad. Shortly after the conversation ended, he came up and asked me, “How are you feeling?  Are you okay?  Was I being a jerk?”  This followed up with, “I’m asking because, well, I’m not good with all this emotional stuff”.

In that moment I kind of chuckled to myself a bit because he used the same exact words that I had used earlier that day when I had made a joke that I realized may have offended or hurt him.

It was in that moment that I fully realized: It all starts with me.


Many of us wish to have a fulfilling relationship.  We may desire to have more intimacy or a better connection.  We may wish our partner was more open and honest with us.  We may wish that our partner was more affectionate or more open to sharing their emotions.


Many of us desire these things but we struggle to get these things to happen and can’t understand why.  We wish that our partner would change.  â€œI wish he was more honest” or “I wish he was more aware of his own emotions” is what we may tell our friends.


Though it is true that the compatibility of both people’s unique traits are a huge factor as to the success of our relationships, it is also true that modeling the behavior you desire in the relationship yourself can drastic change things for the better.


That is the mindset shift that many of us struggle to make and it keeps us in this place of suffering: That it is our own personal responsibility to model the change.  We fail to take personal responsibility.  We fail to realize our half of the equation and how our actions can dramatically impact the relationship.


Instead, many of us habitually focus on the external.  We focus on what we are getting or not getting.  â€œHe’s not….” “She’s not…” are our common thought patterns.


But what we need to do is look back at ourselves and ask: What am I not doing?  How am I not allowing this to happen?  We have to realize the importance of stepping up and doing the behavior we wish they would do so that we can help them develop their weak points.

Like Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  What is it that you want to see in others?  Whatever it is, then be it!




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