How big is your bubble – your personal space; the circumference around your body? Who do you allow in it, and for how long?
Crazy question? Well, not really. See, life is all about you and your relationships: family, friends, work, boyfriends, husbands, acquaintances and whomever else you include. The people you allow in your bubble are usually the ones closest to you. But sometimes your ever-expanding bubble allows people in there who clearly need to be removed, but you are having a hard time letting go.
Let go of what you ask? Well, that’s for you to determine. In order to do that you have to use a bit of tough love on yourself. It’s not easy to decide to release someone from your life – even if you and that person are mixing like oil and water. You still keep them around and chalk it up to some sort of obligation, perhaps guilt, or maybe you think that person owes you something. The problem is, if they’re in your bubble, their negativity is directly affecting you.
I’ve had lot’s of experience in this area. I had always been the type of person who thought I was giving people an opportunity to act differently; and what I was really doing was expecting them to act like I wanted them to act. They were clearly showing me who they were and I was in denial.
I had to learn to accept the person for whom they are and if that conflicted with me, I had to learn to let go. In learning acceptance and letting go, not only did I clean out my bubble, but I released a lot of tension in my life.
Learning to let go is a life-long endeavor that gets easier the more you practice it. Here are a few thoughtful tips to get you started if you need them:
- YOU have to do it: You can’t expect people to walk out of your life voluntarily, particularly if they’ve gotten used to you accommodating them in a certain way.
- Let go of your own guilt: Before you let them go, you have to be strong enough to make it stick.
- Be true to yourself: Since the people in your bubble are the ones closest to you, it would make sense to make sure they have your best interests at heart. People with whom you argue constantly; with whom you feel stress and/or discomfort, with whom you feel victimized – these people are taking up space that could be better used by someone whose personality gels better with yours.
Don’t be surprised if, when you start cleaning out your bubble, that you empty it fairly quickly. It happens. That’s why learning to let go is a lifelong endeavor. But don’t let that get you down. Go ahead and get started. The cleaner your bubble, the more opportunity you have to fill it with positive people.