Because COVID has led to spending more time at home, many of us are eliminating the clutter in our surroundings. A messy environment creates a chaotic mindset. Just walking into a kitchen that has dishes piled up in the sink or trying to relax in a living room that is littered with pet toys or coats thrown the couch—creates a quagmire of distraction that keeps you from enjoying your leisure time or focusing on a project you really want to work on.
While a pile-up of “things” crowds you out of your own physical space and causes you to lose sight of what is important to you, the same applies to relationships that don’t serve your highest self and cause you to waste the most precious commodity you have in this life—the gift of time. We can’t bank it, invest it, or add to it. The time we have is the time we have. How we spend this precious currency should be driven by intention and reflection.
The Stoic Philosopher Seneca, believed it was important to contemplate who you wish to donate the time of your life to, instead of just giving it way thoughtlessly.
Do you really want to be with people who aren’t truly happy for you in good times nor offer their shoulder to cry on in bad? Why waste your time worrying about people (including family members) who reject you or relegate you to their “holiday-only” phone call list? Do you feel good or not so good when you spend futile hours on a one-way relationship; one which is not reciprocated in a balanced way that encourages both of you to grow into the best versions of yourselves? Have you ever spent half a day on the phone listening to someone who not once during the lengthy conversation asks how you are doing? Consider if it is time to let go of those who disrespect you, or relegate you to the periphery of their life until they need you for something, or those who criticize you in a judgmental (non-constructive) way.
Only you can make a conscious decision as to who gets the privilege of benefiting from your beautiful spirit, your generosity of heart, your empathy, your caring listening skills, and your willingness to be there and help at a moment’s notice though crises. In other words, only you can decide who gets the gift of your time.
Choose wisely, and thoughtfully, and you will have more time available to nurture the healthier kinds of relationships which are based on mutual caring, respect, and affectionate reciprocity.
©Raeleen Mautner, Ph.D., LLC
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