So I'm just going to say what people are thinking because lets face it.. it's the reality of things! Some people are just petty and petty irritates the hell out of me. For instance, we are currently living in a world where everyone is out for themselves and have no concern about the ramifications of their actions on other people. Now although petty irritates me . . I can be petty as well when pushed; however petty is NOT my thing. Often times people are more reactive than proactive and that's what complicates relationships.. ALL RELATIONSHIPS! Now lets define "relationship" for those who only can relate a relationship in a romantic sense. Like how I used "relate" and "relationship"?? I know.. genius right? LOL.. not at all!
Back to the definition of relationship. Webster defines it as . ."the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected" (www.merriam-webster.com). Some very key words in this definition, I must say! Let's point them out.. "two or more concepts", "objects", "people are connected", "state of being connected"... see I knew you could do it! Yea . .it's the whole damn definition that tells us what a relationship pertains to. It's not just a group of people, it's not just a "race" of people or even assigned to just a romantic partnership. A relationship is a myriad of things that are "connected". When there is a disconnect.. guess what?? There is a breakdown in that relationship. I would even go a bit further and add the relationship with YOURSELF is highly important to understand and when that's disconnected, Houston we have a problem!
I can honestly say that I never really thought of the relationship with myself as being a relationship at all. I went about my daily life being a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend, etc. all in an effort to make sure I had good relationships with everyone, but myself. I didn't realize how important that ONE relationship was in order to be complete. All these years I thought that being complete was making sure everyone else was happy. I was "happy" going from day to day making sure that those relationships were in tact and neglecting my own happiness. Sad thing is.. I didn't even know I wasn't happy which happens quite frequently in any relationship you are trying to maintain. Being consumed with and in charge of another person's happiness will often times take you away from the most important relationship of all . . YOUR OWN! Now listen . .I'm not saying to drop everybody and just do you! Although, sometimes you may need to do that to get to YOUR HAPPY; which we will also visit . .but for now we are talking about taking care of your own happiness first in order to be YOUR best in all relationships.
I adopted a phrase in 2017 that has worked out pretty well for me so far. Of course you're dying to know what that is . .so I will just give it to you . .wait no more!! "If it doesn't make me happy, I'm not doing it". Yea that's pretty much it! I mean that one phrase has been enough to change my life completely!! It may even seem a little selfish; however at this point in my life . .I frankly don't give a damn. Some would argue that I've always been selfish in that way; but the truth is . .I haven't been selfish enough because I often put my own happiness on the backburner so that I could please everyone else. This did NOT work out in my life or my relationships. I always "stirred" the pot in the direction of someone else's happiness so that I didn't "shake" up things. Hence . .the title "Shaken Not Stirred"! Another clever one huh? Well I'm here all week folks . .LOL!
I haven't been the best wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend etc. in my efforts to maintain those relationships as much as I thought I was . .if we're being truly honest here . .I just wasn't. I had to find my OWN HAPPINESS in order to be my best in every relationship. I remember when I got my undergrad degree in Criminal Justice . .yesss that will make my life complete and I will be so happy I proclaimed!! I vowed after getting that degree I was done with school. I would save the world and be in my HAPPY PLACE! Well . .it sure did . .for about 60 days!! Microwave happiness is what I called it! It was hot . .it was fast and it was instant happiness. So instant that I was bored as hell and needed something else to do!! I went and enrolled in a Master's program thinking YESSS this will make me happy for a long time!! Again . .I will save the world with this degree because obviously this is what I need to make me happy and everyone involved in a relationship with me so that's what I will do! I had relationships that lapsed and/or suffered because I was putting all my time into this degree while continuing to work a full time job, attempting to maintain the household, running to sporting events for my kids to make sure I was supporting them in their own happiness; yet and still this wasn't enough although I THOUGHT it was. Whew . . getting that degree, maintaining relationships and my sanity was a juggle!! I was Shaken and Stirred!!
It took a few steps to get to MY HAPPY. So in building a better relationship with YOU and MYSELF, I will share what I have learned. The process is ongoing and it may be different for each of you. You will continue to learn more about yourself as you go along and that's the REAL key to YOUR HAPPY. In order to get to YOUR HAPPY, you have to be able to be a little bit selfish. Not to the point of relational demise; however there are a few steps you must take in order to get to YOUR HAPPY. Let us count them now!
1) Acknowledge you are NOT HAPPY in your current state
2) Define what HAPPINESS really means to YOU and not others
3) Start the process, whatever that may be, to get to YOUR HAPPY (baby steps)
4) Don't allow someone else to determine YOUR state of HAPPY
5) Don't be petty!
I am not going to lie . .putting your own happiness first will be VERY HARD in the beginning because you are so used to making sure everyone else's happiness is in tact. It felt weird for me and it took a lot of prayer, therapy and HONEST self reflection to get to this place. YES black people go to therapy!! It's like this new thing to keep your damn sanity! I had to actually acknowledge some things that I didn't want to face in order to get to MY HAPPY! I cried many days and nights . .trying to figure things out and I had no clue where to begin. The reality was and still is, I needed to be HONEST with where I was in life and what I wanted to accomplish not just professionally but intimately in the one relationship that allowed me to EVOLVE . . my relationship with myself. I was SHAKEN NOT STIRRED . .finally!! I had to shake things up in my OWN LIFE and take a different route in order to NOT stir things up. YES. . some of my relationships ended because guess what . .I started doing me the right way and not the way others expected. I didn't care about making other people happy any longer which released ALOT OF ANXIETY for me. Without telling y'all all my business . . just yet . .know that I started to LOVE ME MORE INSIDE vs giving an "appearance" on the outside. I was selfish in a bad way in my marriage, with my kids, in my familial relationships and my friendships which made it impossible for me to maintain those relationships at a level that exceeded expectations of loyalty, love and honesty. Do you know why that is? Of course you don't which is why you're reading this blog right now! BAM . .another clever one!!
I didn't love ME enough to sustain those relationships and be selfish in a good way, a healthy way but most importantly in a way that made me GET TO MY HAPPY. I'm not perfect by any means . .hell nowhere even near close to perfect; but at the end of the day I can accept my responsibility in the demise of those relationships and am able to admit that I didn't secure them the way I should have because I was insecure within my self. With that said . . .GET TO YOUR HAPPY. You will have to stir the pot in order to shake things in your favor; but when all is said and done you will prevail because you were SHAKEN NOT STIRRED!
LR Wilson, Founder
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