• Joanna Rawbone

Who are your clouds?

I was listening to the radio and one of the lines in a song was something like "Some people are like clouds; the day gets brighter when they go away". This made me reflect & smile as over the last couple of years I’ve been actively involved in ‘cloud dispersing’.

I had identified that there were a number of people, some really close to me, who caused my days (and mood) to darken. Instinctively I knew that I was consistently the one giving in the relationship only to be ‘punished’ in some way. As my mind turned to culling some of these relationships, I initially felt intense guilt. After all, some of these people had been in my life for a very long time and had at various times been very close.

I then remembered a saying someone shared with me;

“People are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime”

Now I have been a ‘people-pleasing’ introvert and the thought of deliberately cutting people adrift wasn’t a comfortable one for me but the saying above allowed me to consider which reasons were no longer relevant & which seasons were now past. I revisited my needs (a great exercise for those of you who’ve not yet done it) and set myself some new boundaries.

A bit like Marie Kondo, the now infamous ‘tidying’ expert, I looked in turn at people who always seemed to drain my energy without giving anything appreciable back and I asked myself a few questions.

· Did they give me joy even if I needed to recharge afterwards?

· Did I learn from them even if it was uncomfortable?

· Were our values aligned?

· Were our paths on a similar trajectory?

· Did I love them unconditionally?

Once I had my answers, I was able to huff & puff & blow those dark clouds away. Without guilt, without shame and with joy in my heart. And it’s so much brighter here now!

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