28 Jun

If you’ve ever been to the beach and played in the sand for any length of time you know how insidious it can be. The shore is covered with sand and as we walk on it, play in it and swim around it we get it in our swimsuits, in our shorts, in our shoes, in our hair and everywhere else. But we’re having fun and although it can be annoying and gritty to deal with, it’s worth the trade-off. In our lives there are lots of people around us all the time. Though not as numerous as sand particles on the beach, there are many continually in and out of our lives. If we surround ourselves with good, strong people our associations may be beneficial and helpful. But if we continually interact with others whose choices aren’t positive, and who do things that bring problems and heartache to those around them, our time with them may hurt us. Like the sand that finds its way all over us and then begins to chafe, if we continually associate with those who hurt us we will be unhappy.

We build and create our relationships for lots of reasons. Sometimes they evolve because of association, sometimes they are part of our family, sometimes we build them because we like what they bring us, and sometimes we’re in them because there is history that cannot be undone. And sometimes our relationships change and become difficult to navigate. We don’t have to keep any relationship that makes us uncomfortable or that brings us hardship but it can be hard to stop a pattern if we’ve been involved for a long period of time. We might try to distance ourselves from a toxic situation but if we don’t sever the ties that hold us to it, that will do little to fix the problem. It’s like brushing sand off the outside of our bathing suit but doing nothing to wash out the grit that has made its way inside it. Things may look better on the outside, but the problem is still there. No matter who we’re involved with, and no matter what their relationship is to us if we are not happy, we can change it.

If we stay in relationships that hurt us and do nothing to change them, our unhappiness may increase. No matter what the situation is we always have the power to modify our circumstances so we can move forward comfortably and happily. If we’re dealing with someone who is rude and offensive, we can speak up and clearly state our boundaries. If we have a difficult family member we can set the example for patience and insist on being treated with respect. If we’re in a relationship that isn’t working and we want to move on we can do what is needed to make that happen. There isn’t anything we can’t manage and if we’ve got sand in our shoes, we can shake it out. If it’s in our hair, we can wash it out. And if it’s in our clothes, we can change them. Our lives belong to us and we can do whatever is needed to be happy and successful.

Today if you’re in a situation that is making you uncomfortable, be honest and do what is needed to change it. You deserve to be happy. Take charge and change your course. Shake out the sand and enjoy the beach. You have everything it takes to move forward.

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