As humans we are socialized into the relationships we have with our spouses, children, significant others, friends, and family. We become connected in such ways that we share in the ups, downs, joys, and despair of those that are close to us. These connections as powerful as they are can interfere with taking care of our inner self. We are always going to be a part of someone else, and we are always going to share our lives with others, but as an individual can we relate to who we are? Or has our identity become lost in the midst of our relationships, and our lives turn out to be the possession of others? In relationships it is important to know who we are on the inside because it is possible to lose sight of our own values as relationships become demanding. This is seen in many failed relationships where individuals become all things that make up the relationship, and their uniqueness slowly drifts away.
How does one hold on to his/her individuality, and still maintain healthy relationships? This can be achieved by taking time out, and understanding that the individual self needs to be nurtured. Identify with personal values, which can be totally opposite of those that are in your inner circle. For example; what are your thoughts, your feelings, your likes and dislikes, and most importantly why do you hold such views. Be an observer of yourself! It is easy to enter into relationships with a particular set of views, but then somewhere down the line your values get lost, and you seem to take on the values of others. Women that lose sight of their individuality can very easily become victims of domestic abuse, and drug and alcohol abuse. Men that lose sight of their individuality began to feel dominated in a relationship that does not allow them to stand strong as a man, in a sense they feel weakened. Both examples reduce the quality of the relationship and eventually a relationship that was good in the beginning turns out to be disastrous in the end. The most common values that are lost are those that reflect religious beliefs. Take the late Whitney Houston for example; she had strong religious values that became less infused with her career as “The Voice”. Her rise to stardom introduced her to a world that was much different than the religious values she held. In this world of glamour she created new relationships that were in total conflict to her beliefs, and eventually down the line her uniqueness faded, but did not completely leave her because she still held to her belief in God. Whitney was a beautiful song bird that shared herself with the world by establishing a relationship with the world. The world knew her ups, and the world knew her downs. The world judged her according to principles that was unfair, and yet she strived to please by giving this world what it wanted, all of her, and in the center of it all she lost her individuality.