Empower Yourself by Letting Go
By Cynthia Ruiz
As women, we naturally take on the role of caregiver and nurturer. We are so consumed with focusing on everyone else’s needs that we sometimes forget about our own. But if we do not take care of our needs, who will? This concept also applies to relationships. Each of us must turn our focus inward and understand that it is OK to let go of relationships that do not work for us or meet our needs.
Periodically, we find ourselves in unhealthy relationships with a significant other, friends, or family. One-sided relationships – where one person does all of the giving and the other person does all of the taking – can leave us feeling vulnerable or resentful.
If you are feeling plagued by unhealthy relationship(s), it is time to take charge of your life and empower yourself with good choices. Choose not to participate in relationships that are either filled with drama or that drain you from your precious energy. Give yourself permission to release the relationships that are no longer working for you.
I have had to make some tough choices in my life. I had to give myself permission to let go of unhealthy relationships without feeling guilty. Guilt is a powerful emotion that significantly influences our behavior. Once I made the decision to end the sour relationship, I was liberated by a sense of freedom.
So where do you begin? When you have some quiet time, make a list of the people in your life. Once you have completed your list, go back and really think about your emotions toward each person. Be as honest as you can and know it is not necessary to share this list with anyone. While creating your list, be aware of the people who bring up negative emotions and feelings of anger, resentment, or stress.
Once you have evaluated the list, identify the unhealthy relationships and make a conscious decision to either:
- End the relationship
- Limit your participation in the relationship.
What about families? We all understand we did not choose our family, but we do have a choice of how we interact with them. If there is unhealthy behavior in your family, you can choose to not participate or to not allow bad behavior.
Co-workers can also be difficult people in your life. We spend so much time at work that it is important to be as happy as we can. Avoid people who are consistently negative or who like to gossip and thrive off of drama.
At the end of the day, it is important to remember that you have choices in life. You have the power to choose your relationships. Exercise your power; don’t let others drain you of it!
Cynthia M. Ruiz has a master’s degree in counseling from California State University Los Angeles, which gave her the foundation needed to turn her passion of helping people into a full-time job. Ruiz has been a mentor for more than 20 years, and has received more than 50 accolades and awards for her leadership and service to the Los Angeles community, including Hollywood Chamber’s Women of Distinction, the HOPE Ray of Hope award and the Weingart Women Building LA Award. Ruiz has also been mentioned in LA Weekly and has been recognized twice as an ‘influential person.’ Ruiz’s blended Latina and Native American heritage lends to her passion for life and her appreciation of Mother Nature.