Some relationships will probably never be like that…whatever “that” is. Over time, we can fool ourselves into thinking that our expectations of others should manifest, regardless of whether or not those expectations are reasonable and/or externally expressed. Sometimes it is what it is and nothing will change in terms of the relationship itself. The change has to come from me and that change may put me in a situation where I have to make choices. It’s really interesting how such things can come as a surprise when it all seems so obvious [in hindsight, of course]. The bottom line is that just because I am addressing my issues doesn’t mean there is an inherent obligation on the part of the other person to fix theirs. Their choice. Sure, I can “wish” but that can be unrealistic and damaging.
For me, avoiding thought traps looks like acceptance:
- My relationship with my Mom will always be carefully titrated.
- My damage from my childhood will always be there but I can minimize, heal and even eradicate some portion of it.
- I am not what happened to me. I am Me.
- My continued relationship with H is dependent upon me standing up for me and persistently doing the work on myself, regardless of his reaction or actions.
- Once I have identified a relationship as toxic, I have every right and obligation to minimize or remove that influence from my life.
- I can respectfully and assertively tell people that something is none of their business.
Avoiding guilt and shame are paramount for me because those things are primary thought traps. It is so cool to have the opportunity to adjust my worldview. So cool.