Maybe, at one time, we were used, abused, taken for granted or hurt in a relationship.
At one time we accepted too much, compromised ourselves, set poor (or no) boundaries, or were just terrified to leave.
Maybe it’s happening now.
But then one day, we woke up. Or one day, soon, we will.
When it happens, we are shaken wide awake, changed forever.
We felt like stepping stone girlfriends, wives, or significant others. But, then, something miraculous happened. We became a stepping stone for ourselves. In this process, we learned, we grew and now we understand some vital things about loving and being loved.
- We see the merit in every relationship: We get into relationships for a reason and we get out of them for a reason. The only failure that is exists in a relationship is failure to learn from the lessons it gives us. We had to make more than a few mistakes before that happened. But when it clicked, something within us changed and we were able to have gratitude for the paths we have walked and the part we played in it. When mistakes happen in our current relationships, and they do, we have a better way of dealing with them.
- We know how draw lines in the sand: In this process, we learned what was important to us and how to say no when it matters most. We know when it’s time to forgive and when we have to forgive ourselves. We have discovered our deal breakers, know how to set boundaries, and have learned the language our bodies speak when something doesn’t serve us. We stand firm on the other side of these lines and only revise them when we want to, not when someone else says we should.
- We understand we are deserving of and should settle for no less than respect: We are precious beings worthy of respect, love, kindness, and understanding. We accept no less in our relationships. To achieve this, we communicate openly and honestly. We don’t edit ourselves or allow ourselves to walk on eggshells. We allow our partners the same courtesy. Doing to others as we will have done to us is a way of life. By respecting others, we know we respect ourselves that much more.
- We recognize our bodies are our own. A relationship does not indicate ownership: Our bodies are our temples. We no longer allow anyone to dictate to us how we should dress, how much we should weigh, or whether our lipstick is too bright. We strive every day to be comfortable in our own skin and celebrate ourselves. We stand up against invasion of all kinds, from unwanted kisses to rape. We say no because we want to and yes because we want to. And, if we ever don’t want to and it happens anyway watch out—because we fight back.
- We place great meaning on the word “commitment.”: We no longer accept being a side-chick or in an open relationship, if we don’t want one. If we do want one, it’s based on of mutual respect. If we want commitment, we don’t settle until we have it. We don’t turn a blind eye to cheating and we don’t allow ourselves to cheat. We pour our hearts into committed relationships that matter to us. If we want out of a relationship, we end it first and then look to greener pastures. We honor ourselves that way.
- We drive our lives looking through the windshield, not the rear view mirror: Looking forward has its benefits. In looking forward, we apply the lessons of our past and set our sights on the future. We learn and move forward, learn and move forward. This is our new pattern. We are always learning. We don’t revisit, rehash, or mourn for too long. We look forward to life and all the gifts it is yet to bring us. We are grateful for the gifts we have received.
- We know that love only comes when we love ourselves first: No one will allow us to put aside the love we have for ourselves. We care for ourselves so we can care for others. We put our own oxygen masks on first before we help others. By loving ourselves, we can transmit more love.
This is our code. This experience has made us strong.
Now, we are only stepping stones for ourselves.