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Reduce Yourself For... No one!

Lightness of being authentically you
Lightness of being authentically you

I don’t know if this applies to you, but most mornings when I wake up, I will wake up with a song in my head, and other days there will be a very clear statement in my mind. I always think they are related to the dreams I was having in the night- most of which I remember, others can be blurry.

Upon waking up the other day, I had this clear sentence in my head: “Reduce yourself for no one!” And suddenly memories of two past relationships from many years ago appeared in my mind.

I have been a lucky woman when it comes to relationships and I can only remember my previous partners as great humans.

But there were two occasions in my life when I very clearly felt constrained and contracted at times in order to ‘build and experience’ a relationship. I remember on the one hand wanting to enjoy ‘life’ through our combined lenses, rather than just mine and on the other, feeling the other person's vision of life as well as their worldview being limited and restrictive for me.

Because these relationships were many years apart and people in question were very different, I did not recognise the patterns.

In the end it was not about any partner of course. It was all to do with me. I had not entirely learnt my lesson the first time so had to live through it again for the second time.

Which takes me to ‘friends’.

I reduced myself for new friends a number of times in my life.

All the internal hunches were there throughout. I had various reasons each time to continue the connection while knowing all along that we were not aligned.

But it was about me again. In each of these cases the other person’s vulnerability played a big role in me putting myself out there to protect and lookout for them (in many occasions this was not even asked of me but I had to do it anyway). I did not want to state the obvious and hurt someone by rejecting them, so instead I reduced myself so we could ‘hang out’. In the end those friendships ended abruptly anyway and there was disappointment.

Thankfully I have been wiser in the last decade and a half as I have far healthier boundaries. I am comfortable with who I am and apply the ‘truth is kinder in the long run’ philosophy. In the case of friends, lessons have definitely been learnt.

Going through these experiences taught me how to spot the symptoms of me dimming my light for others and taking action the moment I am aware of them.

Let me share them with you.

In a relationship container of any kind, when you persistently feel:

  • out of place

  • self-conscious

  • like something is not quite right

  • that your high energy while spending time with this person gradually diminishes

  • you don’t agree or feel in sync with many of their key ideas/views of the world and feel the friction (but they are a decent human so you still keep on giving things a chance)

  • there is no alignment with the world view and attitudes of their closest friends but you hang out with them anyway

  • you are saying ‘yes’ to outings and situations that you don’t enjoy, find silly or feel like you are wasting your time. All of this leaves you feeling disappointed (in yourself and in the other)

  • it is a constant and continuous effort on your side to bite your tongue and adapt

  • you are trying to change the person and wish they could expand their thinking, have different types of close friends, were involved in more valuable activities

  • you are increasingly more interested in a future version of this person that you have created in your hopeful mind, rather than fully accepting them as the person they are today

We may like and even respect people with whom we may have no alignment with. We might appreciate a number of their qualities and we might know that they have pure intentions. That they mean well. We all belong to the human family- and that is fine.

But this does not mean we need to invite them into our lives or be a part of theirs. Remember that we are a combination of the people closest to us. And our energy, time, values, and thoughts are strongly influenced by theirs and vice versa.

Conscious boundaries
Shine Your Light

It is crucial, particularly in the times we live in, that we have high, clear, vibrant energy and we spread it.

Please do not dim your light for others. In the short term this might feel like a good idea. Maybe it is a lonely moment in your life, maybe you have recently moved home, changed your job or overcame some sort of adversity… But in the long run it can be very costly. You may end up regressing, instead of moving forward and constantly being the best and highest version of yourself.

Even more importantly: Your light is needed. It is needed by people who are able to see, value and appreciate it.

When we can all shine brightly individually, we shine brightly collectively.

So, please DO SHINE!

(There is one more thing. If you know that someone is dimming their light in order to hang out with you, be kind to them. Let them go… Let them shine brightly for their people and in places they are needed.)

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