Ask Ayana Iman is a weekly advice column where real women anonymously submit their questions about work, life, and love. In response, a certified life coach drops some much-needed gems. Check out this week's segment below.
Dear Ayana Iman:
I've been in a relationship since freshman year of high school and I'm now in my late 20's and no longer feel the same attraction or love for the relationship. I haven't for a while but he's the only guy I've been with and the strong feelings of codependency, guilt, and sadness I feel when I think about leaving are too much for me to handle. How can I fix this?
Let's remove any shame that's overshadowing your most honest self. What you're feeling is normal. You've outgrown your boyfriend. His purpose has been served and your relationship has run its course. I'm sure you've experienced a lot together, but at this point all you have is years. Guess what? He knows it too. You don't always have to tell a person your feelings have changed; it's in your disposition, the way you handle things, or lack thereof.
Are you ready for change? The years that you've spent together have rewarded you with the growth and clarity you'll need to move forward. Whether you drag your feet or decide to leave now, the end is inevitable. Once you put that energy into the universe, it conspires to give you what you want and not always on your time. You have the power to leave amicably and reduce fallout by having an honest conversation. Take ownership of your feelings and let him know what's on your mind. You'd be doing both of you a huge disservice by trying to force this situation to work.
It's important that you understand you cannot control his actions but you can control your own. If he chooses to react emotionally, do not respond with the same energy. It's all about intent. If you intend to approach the situation with love and respect then that's all that matters. Try to resist emotional outbursts because all it does is cause stress.
I understand the feeling of codependency; you've spent all of your formative years with this person. But guess what? You still have a lot of life to live. Start 2019 fresh and reestablish the relationship you have with yourself. This is the time to reevaluate your likes and dislikes, try new things, go new places, and be free. There may be changes in your friendships because of the end of this chapter, so prepare accordingly. Your identity is not defined by this relationship, neither are your friendships. Be open to newness.
Again, what you are feeling is normal. You're not a bad person. It's okay to move forward.
Dear Ayana Iman:
I'm lost and feel stuck. I'm in need of guidance of aligning myself to have a fulfilled life with success. I don't know where to begin. Can you help? Currently using affirmations, but that's it.
If you're using affirmations, you're on the right path. This lets me know you're open to seeing change in your life. Here's the thing, affirmations without action produce no results. This means it is not enough to write your visions. You have to do the work, putting in the maximum amount of effort to see the fruits of your labor.
Start with your why. Why do you do the things you do?
Then follow with your what. What is your ultimate goal?
Next comes who. Who will you serve?
Define how. How will you get this done?
Once you've answered these questions, or at least have a general idea, you'll be in alignment with your spirit. This is what guides you and causes you to ask the questions that matter. These questions can apply to your career, family, hobbies, and so on.
No matter if you're in the low valley or on the mountaintop, I implore you to check in and ask yourself these questions. Always find room for gratitude and you'll have a fuller life.
Featured image by Getty Images.