On Part 1 of my post I talked about what it is to have a Strong SENSE OF SELF, but most importantly how do we get there? It’s hard to pin point when, where or how, no? Some of us do get there sooner than others due to experiences we’ve learned from and have become aware that it is our responsibility to hold our end of the bargain in less than comfortable situations at times. So, which is the best way to asses someone’s sense of self? Is it to test how far can they be influenced by others and their environment? Right now, look at your surroundings and see how much you’re being influenced. Can one tests people’s limits and see how self assured or how confident they are as a person? Is this a strong, confident individual or is it someone who is rather strong on the exterior but weak on the interior? Analyzing someone’s ability or inability to make decisions for themselves and by themselves? Do they trust their intuition? Unfortunately some of us have been in relationships (not necessarily romantic ones) where we want so bad to please that most often than not we end up saying yes to others and no to ourselves, which can many times be bad in the long run. We end up in relationships that are destructive to our souls, manipulative, they undermine your opinions, dismiss your feelings, desires & dreams, etc. But the worst part is that sometimes we think it’s ok. Some people start doing things they would never think of doing in their lifetime (even illicit things). Here are some less than important but valid examples: You start liking red, when you never did before, you buy things that you never needed but since you were somehow influenced, you do (have you heard of the power of persuasion). Another good example is that you stop doing the things you used to enjoy. Working out, getting your hair done, you stop or start going to church, you stopped dancing when you loved it before. Even your top priorities in life change; they are not at the top anymore, you don’t have the goals you used to set for yourself, you now have a mind that is not yours; it is somebody else’s. However, I am not saying you can’t explore new things, yet you have to be mindful that you are ok with it and it’s your intention to expose yourself to those new things because you CHOSE it. Perhaps you will learn something new that you might enjoy; however, let it be your decision and not just the sole influence of another/others. I am personally saddened when listening to stories about women and men in romantic relationships and how they lost themselves in somebody else’s life. How they changed, how they did not recognize themselves any longer or how perhaps they don’t even like who they are now. As far as romantic relationships go, I understand that when one is attached and perhaps in love it can happen, but it is less likely to happen when you have a strong sense of who you are, and what kind of life you want to live. What kind of partner do you want to have and which common goals do you share. Do you want to live someone else’s life or one that you both created?
Having said all this; in any type of relationships you must be accountable and responsible for the actions you part take in. Why are you so quick to blame the other when you allowed it in the first place? Why/How did you allow someone else that power over you? Most likely they did not put a gun to your head. It all comes down to how strong your Sense of Self is, self esteem, love and respect for yourself. In conclusion love should be free & respectful; not dismissive nor manipulative. Seek balance, not power, nor perfection. The more you know who you are the less you are prone to be dismantled.