Have different levels for different people in your life.

Relationships have not always been easy for me. I want to be friends with everyone I know, making them feel special, included, loved, and seen. But in this time of the internet where we are connected with a bazillion people this is almost impossible. Even face to face, I used to jump into relationships as if everyone would be the most intimate kindred friend upon meeting. I would speak too much, over share, and try to bond in a way I am sure was most uncomfortable. Bringing just anyone into the deepest recesses of my life was not fair to any of us.

 photo different levels of relationships.jpg

I am able to enjoy life much more now with the concept of "different levels of me" which I learned in The Brave Girls Club class: Soul Restoration. The drawing above helped make the idea more concrete for me.

Starting at the inner circle:
  1. The deepest part of me is where my soul resides. There is no one else in this area except the Holy Spirit now. He teaches me truth, and guides my life. He defines me, and makes me whole. He is the only one who is allowed this deep into who I am.
  2. The second level is where those I love and trust exclusively reside. There is mutual appreciation for each other and an understanding which allows for differences. We have relationships which embrace one another for who we are. If I am going to pour myself out to anyone, it will be someone within this level.
  3. The third level also includes those who I love and trust, but our lives make it difficult to interact. We give each other space to be in each other’s lives, but do not resent the fact we can’t have coffee every day.
  4. The fourth level are the people with whom I have things in common and we encourage one another. This is where trust and knowledge grows.
  5. The fifth level is where people who I am connected with but don’t know very well are placed. I guess you could call this the introductory level.
  6. The outer most level is where I keep those I know but we just don't mesh.

 photo levels of relationships.jpg

While I am still learning how to live this out, I have found it to be more healthy than trying to make everyone my BFF. Trying to do that was simply impossible, frustrating for all involved, and denied the reality of relationships. I can breathe easier because I have fewer expectations, and I can love everyone for who they are.

This concept wasn't one I had really understood before this class. I played with the idea but couldn't really grasp it. The class helped me grasp the reality in relationships and see the benefits for myself and others.

Have you ever considered the levels of you and where you allow people to reside?

Comments

  1. I hadn't thought about it this way before. Thank you for an interesting post.
    I'll see you at 'd'.
    Donna

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    1. Hi Donna! Thanks for stopping in. I had never thought of it this way either. It was something I really had to learn!

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  2. I bet as you hone your skills you'll become more and more confident! You're instructor sound like a wise man.

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    1. I just said similar to someone else! Yes, I'm growing more confident, but I know I have so much farther to go still. I'm grateful for our head instructor and all those who take time out to teach us.

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  3. What a great perspective! Thanks, Stacey!

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  4. I use this same line of thinking with my little guy when he is disobedient or has some other cause for receiving negative consequences - he was the one making the choice of how to behave. I love how it applies here - Don't mess with the Zohan!! (I've never actually seen the whole movie, that just seemed to fit.) I thought about you in kickboxing this morning. I wasn't sure what word you would use, but Confidence kept popping in to my mind. One of the best techniques I've ever used is just looking like I belong and know where I'm going. Looking out of place and easy just makes you an easier mark.
    This is great stuff, Stacey!

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    1. LOL I've never seen the movie either, so I have no idea. :D

      And YES!!! The more confident we look the better off we are going to be.

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  5. That is a great way to look at it.

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    1. It certainly helped me when I started seeing it this way.

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  6. Running behind as usual... lol

    I can totally understand being afraid in class that you would hurt someone. I think I would be the same way...

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