There Are Levels to This Thing

One of my favorite and least favorite things to do is to paint the walls in my apartments. If you’ve ever been adventurous enough to paint an accent wall or entire rooms, you know exactly what I mean. A pop of color on the walls changes the entire mood of your living space. However, I loathe the work of painting it back to its original color before moving out. It’s always such a hassle *definitely rolling my eyes. But on the front end, there’s the fun of going to the store and looking at all the paint swatches of beautiful warm to cool colors of the color wheel. Typically the paint swatches (at least the one’s at Walmart and Lowes) will contain various shades of the same color from deeper to lighter tones on one swatch. Often, I’ve realized that how we show up in our relationships with people can be much the same way as the tones of color on a paint swatch.

How we show up in our relationships can be compared to choosing a tone of color on a paint swatch.

For some people, we stay in the lighter tones -our relating to them is very surface, light and encouraging. With others we move into the deepest essence of the color. We can dive into their most personal thoughts or intimate feelings and in so doing, allow them access to ours as well.  One of the keys to successful relationships of any kind is exercising wisdom when it comes to the level of access you have to others and they have to you. In so doing, we can learn to define boundaries for ourselves and others in our lives. We feed some people with a long-handled spoon. In other words, everybody doesn’t need to get extremely close to you and as we’ve seen in recent events, it is also better for us to maintain our distance from some people as well.

“It’s not you; it’s me”

There are some people who may have characteristics, habits of life, or patterns of behavior that trigger the worst parts of me. If I get too close to them, by no fault of their own, they may trigger those codependent tendencies in me that I still struggle with from time to time. So it’s best that I remain in a noninvasive space so I don’t fall into the need to rescue or be rescued.

It’s Easier to Pull Someone Down Than It Is to Pull Someone Up

Imagine standing on a chair with a friend standing in front of you holding your hand. If each of you is pulling, is it going to be easier for you to pull her up into the chair with you or for her to pull you down to the floor with her? Because I realize that I cannot control the behavior of other people, I have learned that even if I was pretty deep with a person, I need to move into the lighter tones if I don’t want to get dragged down into something I’m just not down with  for lack of a better phrase.

Information Overload  

Let’s face it, we’ve only got a certain amount of energy or time. We simply cannot dive all the way in with everyone we meet. Even if they were all people with whom we could relate, people who would edify us and we would edify them. At the end of the day, there’s only 1 of you. Therefore we have to be wise with how we invest ourselves. Furthermore, we may be in deep with a person in one season and not so much in the other. As people grow and change, if we don’t also grow and change, they move into deeper colors and we stay where we are, the shade we’re in is not so deep anymore compared to where they are now.

One thing is for sure, it’s imperative to protect your peace.

One key to protecting your peace is knowing how or where you should be in each of your relationships or even IF some of your relationships should be at all. But that’s a different topic for a different day!

Do you find yourself relating more intimately with some people than others? Perhaps an even better question may be, have you noticed the depth of any of your relationships change over time?

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