I am a firm believer that relationships should not be conditional. In other words, it is not a “what you can do for me” mentality or “if you don’t do this then I will….”. Putting conditions doesn’t leave much room for anything else.
Recently, I had someone lay out their conditions. I paused. Pausing allows me to not react with my usual colorful language. Instead, I was able to express how that won’t work for me. What I know is that people put conditions because of several things – fear, a need to control a situation, and/or their need to manipulate in order to get a favorable outcome that benefits them. It is my experience that those individuals are lacking a sense of well-being within and this is their need to fill a void. Happiness is an inside job.
Despite the demand of action on my part plus the emotional component, I still maintain an attitude of gratitude. Grateful that my mood is not contingent on other people’s feelings, that I can find compassion despite their delivery, and that I can detach with love even though their actions are hurtful.
The holidays can bring up a lot of emotions, but I just need to remember that feelings aren’t facts and I have choices on how I choose to react to any given situation. Knowing that I have choices gives me the freedom to capture serenity even if those around me aren’t at peace.