Once I was at a kite festival. Have you been to one? You see all these types of kites with different shapes, sizes, decorative features, and different kinds. The sky looks like a coloring book as colors and images soar, lift, and dive in the wind. It is a beautiful mental image of harmony in chaos as all the elements of science and our imaginations come together to create a beautiful spectacle. What I didn’t know then, but now I do is that there are different kinds of strings, and the weight and diameter of those strings a vital element that keeps the kite up in the air. I now know that the line weight is the amount of stress a line can handle before reaching its breaking point. Maybe you have been at the crossroads of a relationship regardless if it was family, friends, or partner, and you felt like you were breaking just like the kite string. You wondered what in the world happened to you. Somehow the turbulence of life and the relationships that are in it took your kite down because the line that connected it to you was not set right. It wasn’t strong enough and the choppiness that is found in life and relationships broke you. Now, you are holding your downed kite in the middle of nowhere emotionally depleted. I have been there and it is common for everyone to be at some point or other in various relationships throughout the journey of life to stand there with a kit in hand wondering what happened. What was that? What now?
What if I told you that the more we work on ourselves, the more we can elevate relationships and keep our kite flying? Many of the self-care rituals that we do can create deeper and more positive intentionality across relationships. We all know now that self-care rituals can enhance our emotional intelligence, and empathy and build a stronger sense of one’s self. It can increase productivity, and prevent us from living the burnt-out hamster-on-a-wheel lifestyle.
When we work on generating positivity from within ourselves, it overflows to other elements of our lives including relationships. We can find ourselves able to communicate our needs better, listen to others with more intentionality, and reach levels of human-to-human understanding. That is not saying that there will only be positivity, but we don’t let the negativity cut our kite string. Instead, we approach conflicts with others with a growth mindset that is hell-bent on fighting the wind and being a problem solver with others. When we can live in this space of positivity as our go-to reaction to the turbulence of life, we will find that we can bounce forward more easily and that helps us live more compassionately. The more we can love ourselves, the more we can love other people. We are not expecting them to be the external source of our happiness and we try with intentionalty not to let them be the mirror by which we perceive ourselves.
When we work on practicing self-care, we build resilience that helps us in the wind that carries our kite above us. We accept the setbacks as not a negative space to dwell, but to learn from and to continue to soar higher as we work on problem-solving within our mind and take time to figure out what weight, length, and diameter of string to attach to our kite to get it back up in the sky again. We realize that we are not a failure and instead, as I teach my students at school, we embrace or “fails” as the “First Attempt at learning”. We can learn to see the bigger sky, not just the string our hand is holding as we lift our eyes and marvel at how the kite of our life bounces off the friction but keeps flying. In a relationship, this matters because we learn to take things in stride better. We learn to love ourselves self, trust ourselves, and accept ourselves and our place in this world. We embrace time by ourselves not as a downward kite spiral but as a way to add lift to our kite because when we have time to ourselves regardless of any relationship, we rejuvenate, we can listen to our thoughts and figure out what stillness of our minds wants us to learn in our hearts. Then when we are with others, especially our friends, family, and others that we love, we can be supportive, grateful, and fully present with them creating more authenticity.
Strong connections with others are built out of self-care for ourselves first as we learn to create boundaries. The increased self-awareness that happens through meditation, journaling, or doing something creative just for ourselves helps us understand what we need from ourselves first. As we decide what type of kite string we need, and what length and weight of the kite string we need, we are setting priorities. We begin to see more clearly what is important and not important to us. That helps us to navigate relationships so much better as we rid ourselves of those who seek to break our strings and those who create intentional spaces where we fail, not soar. As we continue to do this and apply it to our everyday lives, we are building up our internal confidence and becoming more sure of ourselves as we say no and mean it as well as yes and mean it. This will keep us from the currents in the wind of resentment, bitterness, and burnout that bring down our kites and instead, it makes space for grace, love, and clear-cut boundaries that we follow for ourselves. I heard a saying once that says, you teach others how to treat you by how you treat yourself. When we model healthy behaviors and others see that, we are encouraging them to do the same for themselves. That creates so many healthy relationships.
So go out there and do you as authentically as possible. Practice good self-care by taking time for your creative mind, spiritual being, physical body, and beautiful mind. The more you pour into yourself, the more overflow you create to pour into others and you can celebrate not only your kite soaring, but that of others with genuine thriving connections.