one of the things
i am most blessed with is
astute aware friends
who ask great questions

yes, i have friends
who help me see,
know myself more,
grow and be better…

a while back
i was seeking advice
for a dynamic in my not so romantic
romantic relationship at the time
that was excruciating for me
super triggering
nearly beyond bearable
but not enough to leave
when there were still such high highs
rich delight
and so much yet to be revealed
that i felt curious about
excited for and committed to

the friend
i was practically pleading
for fixing from
begging for assistance from
said one of the most
useful things anyone
has ever said to me
that has changed the course
of my life
in a way
i am most grateful for
(so now i share it with you..)

the truth was
i was complaining
and frankly
a lot of people
would have said
rightfully so
and i could have easily gotten
people to confirm my feelings
as justified, appropriate
warranted for sure
and maybe that would’ve felt good
for a bit
after all it usually does
feel good to be validated
yes it’s often so comforting
especially when hurt
by one you love
a little colluding
can be so soothing

no harm done… right?
or, or is that not true…

basically i was wanting my boyfriend
to not do something
when things got challenging
that was particularly painful to me
and basically he wanted me
to not do the thing
that had him do the thing
that i didn’t want him to do
typical i know
but in this case it became disastrous
as traumas collided
and neither party could see straight
hear accurately
or think clearly

it was getting messy
on repeat, with less and less days
in between the next meltdown

and i needed it to stop
he needed it to stop
something had to shift
and all our strategies
were completely failing us
willpower and the best intentions
are pretty much useless
when really triggered
and so all i knew
is that something
had to be done differently
before that, before the wounds
were hit and we were underwater

and my friend
(the one i sought help from)
asked me the best question
that had me inspired
instead of slipping into self-loathing
my friend said:
“i get he does this thing that’s super hard
for you and i get you want him
to do things differently
but him aside…
what kind of woman would you be
to have this go differently?
who and how would you be?
and is that someone you want to be?”

this had me pause
really pause, you know the kind
where you are not thinking
of what to say next
or how to defend or deflect…

it had me pause and really reflect
is this work worth doing…
does this person, this dynamic
provoke me
into a better version of me
if i do the work needed
to end the war?

will i like who i have become?
will i appreciate who i am?
will i love my way of being?

my friend asking me
what kind of woman would
have him, have the world
responding to me
the way i want it to
changed everything for me
inspiring me to become
a woman that regardless
of what he did
or the world did
i was pleased with
how i did me
how i do me

yes that,
so at least i could know
i did my part
so at least i could know
i like how i showed up
so at least i can be
at peace with me

and so i did
the work
and i must say
that not only do i like me more
he seems to as well
and those catastrophic crashes
started becoming
rarer and rarer
till one day i realized
what had once seemed
completely unmanageable
disturbingly predictable
absolutely out of control
had stopped happening
nearly completely

sure still traces of it
here or there
but mostly
just not there
not in me
or with us

deep breath
a sigh of real relief…

that things can change
in this way, relationally
in relationship

i have known for a long time
that i can transform
but that it could also
shift how others related to me
feels new to experience
so surely, so clearly

it’s been faith producing
and hope generating

empowering truly

yes to take full responsibility
for the only thing
i can really can
me

and to start with the
wondering
what if the world
is responding to me
instead of focusing on
how can i get
him or them
to stop doing
the thing

❤ Emily Joy Rosen

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Emily Rosen is the co-owner and CEO of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating where she oversees business development strategies, student affairs, marketing and public relations, and keeps a pulse on the fields of eating psychology and nutrition to ensure the Institute’s position as a leader worldwide. Emily makes things happen. Her passion for health and transformation has provided her the opportunity to speak and present internationally and be at the forefront of a new generation of women leaders committed to making a heartfelt difference in the world. Her tireless work and faithful commitment have touched the lives of millions of fans and followers worldwide.