September 1, 2018

7 Things I Know For Sure About Relationships

This summer is officially coming to an end and it’s got me all kinds of reflective. Asking myself what this summer was really about for me and what am I taking away from these past few months as we enter in to the final quarter of the year (so crazy). While there has been a ton happening in the areas of my health, business and creating financial abundance, my relationships have really been what has been most on my heart and up for realizations this summer. Anyone else?

Over the past two years I have shared openly with all of you about the heartbreaks, the joys and a lot of the crumbling that was happening in my world. It was honestly incredibly painful to experience so I feel grateful that the intensity has decreased and I have access to a lot more peace now. However, that has also given me the chance to ask some hard questions of myself. Like how did all of that happen and what do you really feel about it? Because while it was all going down, I was honestly too hurt to look at things as deeply as I would normally like to.

This process of doing an inventory in an area of your life that has been going through a major upheaval is SO important and can be incredibly transformative. It’s part of what it looks like to actually “do the work”. You don’t need a healer to crack you open, or someone to save you and you don’t need to take ceremonial herbs to make sense of your existence. Those things are great and supportive on occasion but should not replace sitting with yourself, sitting with your pain and joy and confusion.

So this summer, I sat with myself, by myself, a lot. While it might not look like that on social media I assure you that it’s the truth. Maybe I had an event or meeting to go to, but then, I would come home and be with me. Be with that little girl who had spent so much of her childhood getting hurt, only to find that same wound being pierced and over and over again as an adult. That is where I felt safe enough to really ask myself what I was actually feeling underneath all of the hurt. It was hard but incredibly helpful and I feel changed from it in the best way.

I know so many of you have had your share of ups and downs, divorces, heart aches and friendship break-ups to understand exactly what I am talking about. I also know that many of you are just like me in your desire to nurture, give your whole heart to those you love and are in the highly sensitive category. So I thought I would share what I learned from this process. It’s really been evolving for the last 2 ½ years and I feel this chapter is finally transitioning to a new place. This list is about all types of relationships, romantic, soul sisters, guy friends, parents, siblings.

7 Things I Know For Sure About Relationships

Meet people where they meet me. Because I crave connection and intimacy and have a large capacity to create and access both, I tend to lean into those things a lot more than the people I try to create relationships with. Then, as I am leaning in, they are doing their own thing (which usually doesn’t involve leaning in, but avoiding, escaping or just being in their own world) and I am left hurt. If I had just met them where they met me, I wouldn’t have to be so devastated that I gave them so much only to get little in return. For example: the friend that never reaches out, but I absolutely adore, so I am constantly reaching out. I have a LOT of friends like this. They aren’t doing anything wrong so this isn’t about blame. They are doing their thing and living their life the best they know how, and I am leaning in, expecting them to be different with me. It never works and has me shifting how I interact with everyone.  

We Are Human Beings. Duh. As someone who knows how to manifest like a boss, believes in God and uses my intuition in almost every moment of my life, this one was a hard one for me to understand at first. What I realized is this. Just because you see someone as a beautiful soul, as the child of the universe who is pure and perfect (which is legit how I see every human being), it doesn’t mean that their human expression is acting anywhere close to the pure soul that lies within. My beautiful friend and teacher Robin taught me that while many people only look at the surface and don’t look at the depth of a person, I actually do the opposite and I need to find a middle ground. It’s great that I see their divine beauty, but I need to give their human selves a chance to show me where they are really at.

Get Out Of The Fantasy. This one has also taken me a good decade to really understand and it ties into #1 + #2. Because I want to believe the best in people and am someone who craves connection and intimacy, I often find myself in a fantasy world about what is going on in the REALITY of my relationship with someone. I feel so deeply connected to their potential, the beauty of their soul and those often fleeting moments where I know we were on the same page, that I just can’t seem to accept what is happening between us in THIS moment. You feel me? This finally hit me over the head after I had dated this guy in the spring of this year and looking back, if I had just been in the moment and accepted how he was actually showing up and not how I knew he had the potential to, I would have walked away from things a lot earlier and with a lot less back and forth.

Be As Diligent With Your Relationships As You Would Be About Other Areas Of Life. Something that my close friends know about me is that one of my all-time favorite words is integrity. I know, so sexy. But it’s true! Glennon Doyle recently described integrity as the way you’re being when everything you’re thinking and feeling inside matches what you’re doing and how you’re being on the outside. The thing I realized this summer is that so many people feel incredibly passionate about having integrity with their fitness, with their finances or work ethic, but don’t believe that it is needed in their relationships. That makes absolutely no sense to me! Would your business thrive if you never reached out to people who were important to you? Would your body feel good if you never fed it foods that were important to it’s vitality? It’s even as simple as asking if your apartment would be clean if you didn’t set aside time to clean it, organize it, decorate it with love? NO! So why do we expect that our relationships will just flourish or feel nurtured without us following-up, checking-in and carving out time to spend time with people who are important to us?

Your Relationship With Your Parents Needs To Be A Priority. I am extremely selective with who I work with in any area of my life and it only takes one hand to count the people who I have hired to support me personally over the last decade. My brilliant friend Kavita J. Patel is one of those people. She started off as my coach and ended up a sister. I know that some of you will read this and believe that there is no way they could ever speak to one or both of your parents, others don’t know who their parents are and many of you have even gone through the heartbreak of losing a parent. I hear that and know that it’s without a doubt complicated when it comes to family. However, I was one of those people who really didn’t believe that my relationship with my parents could be transformed, I was one of those people who didn’t think my relationship with my parents had that much to do with other relationships in my life, and I was one of those people who has completely wrong about all of it. I am no expert at how to start to tackle it all, that’s why I wanted to make sure you knew about Kavita’s free workshop that you can take virtually on September 6th or 7th. Just click the link and sign-up becuase she will crack you open in a way that will change you forever. Promise. She did for me and thousands of others who follow her every word.

It Doesn’t Matter Why It Feels Wrong. It Matters That It Does. My inner dialogue often looks something like this, “but everyone else seems to like them, they are doing great work in this world and have a lot of friends, there must be something wrong with ME that I am not enjoying my interactions with them” and then going around in circles constantly trying to figure out what is wrong with me instead of realizing that I am just not meant to continue connecting with them. The truth is loves, it doesn’t matter if other people like that person or if they are successful or if their social media feed seems really popular and harmless. If you feel something isn’t right, even if you can’t figure it out, give yourself permission to stop investing in that relationship. That doesn’t mean that you have to be passive aggressive, fight with them or block them from your life but you also don’t have to continue trying so damn hard to make it work. Allow yourself to LET IT GO.

Invest In Those Who Do Show Up. Although a lot of these lessons are birthed from heartache, there has also been tremendous joy where relationships are concerned and I think the final thing I learned about my community of people recently, is that there are a lot of people who DO want to show up and love me to the absolute fullest. We can get distracted by those who don’t love us or the people who aren’t kind to us when all we want is to be close to them, but what about the ones who were always there? Who always answer when you call or who constantly invite you to things that you are often too busy for? I found myself realizing that I had spent so much of my time distracted by those who caused me pain, I forgot to nurture those who constantly bring me joy. You know who you are, and I thank God for you everyday.

I know that as long as I am interacting with people, I will continue to learn, grow and discover how to interact with people. But these lessons are ones that have taken me a lifetime of processing to finally realize. From getting bullied by my someone I thought was my best friend growing up, to going through a heartbreaking divorce, dealing with the anxiety of dating and even having the rug pulled out from under me by sisters I thought would be in my life forever, I have learned and grown from all of it and I know it’s shaping me in ways that I can be truly proud of. As I leave this summer behind me and usher in fall, I am getting excited about what’s to come in the area of relationships because I know that they will be based on intimacy and a shared value of integrity. That’s all I really ever want and I am done trying to pretend that I am interested in anything else.

Now love, it’s your turn! Have you gone through changes or had some realizations about relationships recently? Are there lessons that you learned which you feel inspired to share below? We need to support each other in this journey so any wisdom, insights or reflections you are feeling after reading this, I encourage you to share them below! I love getting comments from you and I always answer every single one of them myself.

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  • Eric Carrell

    Thanks for this, Nitika <3

  • Erin

    This was so spot on in so many ways. I am about a year out of the worst breakup in my life, and have also cut ties with some “best” friends in the last year. It’s extremely lonely, and sometimes I just want to run away from it all. But the meeting people where they meet you concept really resonated with me – I give waaaaay too much on the regular and it just leaves me feeling sad. Thank you for sharing.

    I think in terms of what I’ve learned – people tell you who they are. I tend to see the best in people, and when they say they are a jerk or that they are too damaged to commit or any number of other things, they’re generally telling the truth. It hasn’t been an easy lesson, but I am trying to listen to who people say they are.

    Thanks for your words!

    • Nitika

      Hi Erin! I am so grateful that this post resonated with you, it was a raw one for me to write. It sounds like you took that headache and have learned how to move forward from it. We are all constantly learning but it really sounds to me like you’re doing a beautiful job of putting all the pieces together in all of these lessons you’ve been dealt. Keep it up!! Sending you and your brave heart so much love! Xx

  • Sweta

    I could have written this blog! I was bullied
    by “friends” growing up too.

    I was just sharing that with my hubby yesterday
    as I’m having troubling of easily letting go of
    a “failed” Sister partnership.

    He’s astonished that this keeps coming up.

    My life lessons have been so similar.
    Friendships are totally my blind spot…
    I have a history of being girlfriend slut.

    I’ve been so much more discerning and paying
    attention to actions over words.

    The hardest part is for me to let go as there often isn’t
    huge betrayal..but the friendships are not reciprocal.

    I’m a perfectionist when it comes to relationships and
    I want sooo badly for things to be “good”

    At the same time being very real with friends and
    saying I’m not going to put in all the effort has made
    some friends step up.

    Integrity is my number one value as well!

    Curious are you an Enneagram type 2?

    I admittedly discovered that I have a fear if my life
    gets “too” magical I will have no friends. The
    problem with growth being one of my values too?

    First world problems eh?

    I’m grateful for the awareness that this is something
    I need to pay attention too.

    • Nitika

      Hi Sweta! You saying that you could have written this blog is honestly the greatest compliment!! I try to write what’s on my heart and trust that it’s what my audience feels too, but I don’t always know if it will be helpful for others. I appreciate your comment so much and am so glad this post resonated with you!! I actually don’t know my Enneagram # but maybe I should take the test?! I have heard of it before but haven’t done it. Anyway, keep up the beautiful work. You’re doing awesome!! Lots of love xx

  • Valerie

    Thank you for your beautiful words! One of my greatest lessons from relationships is learning that being alone has nothing to do with being lonely. BEing by yourself, with yourself, for yourself = LOVE. Xo.

    • Nitika

      Yesss exactly Valerie! That’s so beautifully said. Lots of love to you! xx

  • Cari

    I just stumbled upon your site yesterday and I already feel I have found someone that actually understands what living with a chronic illness feels like. Thank you for articulating your journey so eloquently. I’ll definitely be reading more. After living with type 2 diabetes for 14 years (and only sharing that with 6 people, until recently) I am finally at the stage where I can lift the veil of shame I have felt over a disease that I always felt was my fault. I now know that is not the case.

    I am also a person that “leans in” and I have felt the hurt of that not being matched many times. Now I know not to push or expect more, even still there are times I walk away feeling empty or frustrated by the interaction. I know I have so much to offer so when someone doesn’t take me up on that it can sting! Thankfully I have plenty of sisters in my life I can swim with in the deep!

    Keep up your Good Work, Nitika!


    • Nitika

      Hi Cari! Thank you so much for this comment, it honestly means the world to me. I totally get that shame for your condition SO deeply. I think it’s amazing that you’ve even been able to see that you have that and try to push beyond it. That’s incredible and powerful! I am so happy to have you here and can’t wait to connect more. Lots of love! xx Nitika

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