Can By Choosing The Right Relationships Improve Your Health? Yes, Indeed!

Can By Choosing The Right Relationships Improve Your Health? Yes, Indeed!

The saying “Youth is wasted on the young”, really is true in my opinion. We spend our days as adolescents and young adults, experimenting, testing, staying up late, going to work early, eating when we’re hangry and usually choosing what we like to eat, as opposed to what we should eat… All of this is totally cool, until one day it isn’t. Our hangovers spill over in to day 2, our size 25 jeans don’t fit anymore, and often, our digestion changes for the worse due to the stress we’ve imposed on our bodies over the past several years. Then one day, around the age of 30, we wake up and realize we need to make some serious changes in order to get back to where we know our highest potential exists.

We hire a trainer, a nutritionist, cut back on the booze and start buying organic. Maybe we take up yoga, mediation, do a 7 day juice cleanse to kick-start the healthy ass-kicking lifestyle we’re committed to.

But what if, even after all of these positive choices and changes, we’re still experiencing digestive upset, unexplained weight gain and other chronic health issues? Are we destined for this to be our body? Who’s body is this anyway? We’re doing everything “right”, right? …

Well, healthy choices with food and exercise are definitely habits we want to keep and incorporate long-term in order for us to feel vibrant, sexy and healthy, though we can often lack the know-how on figuring out what we need in order to be emotionally happy and how not being so may affect our health. The physical, emotional, and mental are all intimately connected. Without balance and awareness in all areas we can be left with head-scratching symptoms and ultimately be left unhappy with how we look, feel, and act…Walk with me here…

When choosing relationships, be it romantic or friendship based, we tend to choose people who “feel” right. Which is great! The vibe is there, amazing. But what about the relationship we have with ourselves and considering things like our top values and needs in life, and the role those play in us feeling grounded, secure and valued?

What I’ve learned is that in order to have a healthy, happy relationship with another, we need to have a healthy, happy, relationship with ourselves. I learned this the best way in my opinion…The hard way (I benefit most from learning through experience, not via audio or visual lessons). I had shitty relationship after shitty relationship, and friendships that would end dramatically, having been the “victim” of some unforgivable act. But the reality of the situation was that I had no idea how the hell to create and maintain a boundary, or what it was specifically that I needed in order to feel calm, secure, and valued, with my boyfriend/friends (this is totally applicable to friendships btw)… Almost worst of all I was completely clueless as to the role that being unclear in those areas played in my chronic gut issues. I was unnecessarily suffering.

It all started in my childhood (as it always does)…My birth mother was/is a brutal alcoholic and was in an abusive relationship after my parent’s divorce. I witnessed those two treat each other horribly, and no one in the house seemed to consider how the violence in the home may affect the 11 year old girl who was also living there and desperately needed someone to impose boundaries to protect her…The stress from not having boundaries in my home lead to what would be a battle to heal IBS, and two decades worth of painful relationships. In hindsight, I realize that my inability to implement boundaries in relationships stemmed from not seeing anyone impose boundaries at home as a child. I had no idea the importance that simple piece of our personalities played in my ability to be happy. Being able to say “no” is so key, as what we say “no” to, defines us.

So, about a year ago, I ended a relationship with someone that just wasn’t working. My gut issues were at their worst and we were both exhausted from trying to make “us” something that we just weren’t. So, I spent the year working with a therapist, and life coach to learn about the role I played in my hopeless relationships and what to do about it so I can break the patterns that didn’t serve me. Breaking the patterns wasn’t easy at first. I fought and resisted and gave my life coach a run for her money!! (Mad love to Mrs. Laura Slinn 😉 But in the end, her tough love paid off and I shifted my actions and perceptions of what love and intimacy really is.

I spent several days and did several revisions to a list of needs and values. Specific needs, as specific as how often do I want them to text/call me, how do I want my partner to show me he loves me, how often would we vacation together, and where…Do our schedules align, how does he deal with stress, etc.
About 4 months later, I met the exact person I described in my needs list. To a T! I’m still in awe of the power of what getting clear can do for our subconscious and ultimately lead us to choosing what we want as opposed to allowing randomness in to our intimate lives.

By saying “no” to behaviour and personality traits that I got clear were deal breakers for me when being introspective about my needs, I said no to the situations that triggered me. There are certain behaviours that trigger us from our childhood, or past relationships that for one, can be healed when given the right attention, but also we want to avoid to maintain balance in our emotional and spiritual selves. When we don’t maintain that balance, our physical selves will manifest symptoms to show us that we aren’t congruent with something in our lives. We need to look within, ask ourselves what needs are not being met and then take action to align ourselves with those needs…We will then see our physical symptoms dissipate to reflect the positive change.

These are a lot of my deep thoughts and theories on integrative health and healing…Ones I have been studying in myself and in clients over the years. Ones I am very passionate about because I feel this theory of choosing what we need, saying no to what is not good for us, and the strong connection between our emotional and physical body, lies the answer to healing our chronic health issues when combined with a healthy lifestyle.

To recap: The connection between the relationships we choose and our physical ailments is powerful. Here is how to take the first few steps in healing and getting congruent with what we really want; love and health…

1. It’s more about the relationship we have with ourselves, than others.

2. Get clear on what we need and want; create a list in the areas of physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, lifestyle etc.

3. Get ok with saying “no” to anything that doesn’t align with our needs/values (with a little wiggle room, of course), because WHAT WE SAY NO TO, DEFINES US.

4. Get ok with being single. Love time with yourself. Workout, read, travel solo, cook dinner for friends. Fall in love with yourself, and others will too!

5. Learn to create and follow through with boundaries. We teach people how to treat us.

6. Choose someone who is accountable and invested. Wishy-washy behaviour speak volumes as the what that person is willing to invest in a relationship. The way we do anything is the way we do everything.

By following these truly simple steps (we tend to overcomplicate things, don’t we?!), you will experience the following:

* A decrease in anxiety and self-doubt.

* A decrease in bull-shit that tends to stress us out, keep us up at night and/or dominate our conversations with our girlfriends.

* The space to enjoy life! Enjoy your time as a single woman, or a happily dating woman. Either way, you’ll be honoring your true self and aligned with what you really want.

* A sense of genuine self-empowerment. You are in control, and able to create the health and relationship scenario that you desire!

What I’ve learned is that we are capable of parenting ourselves. Giving ourselves what we need to feel secure, grounded and loved. Something to consider is that those feelings release neurotransmitters that bathe every single cell in our bodies. But so do the neurotransmitters of feelings of doubt, anxiety, and sadness. Which type of neurotransmitters do you want bathing your entire body? … The latter, I’m sure 🙂

I hope this super long, and super heart-felt blog helps in some way to bring clarity your current health situation and inspire you to embark on a healing journey that you will never regret.

In good physical, metal and emotional health,

Healthstyle, by Cassandra Hope

  • Kim Gamelin

    Beautifully written. You wrote my story ? Thank you for your honesty & for making the world a more beautiful place with your work. Xo

    January 6, 2016 at 4:45 pm
  • Cassandra. I have SO much to say about this article that you’ve instinctively and astutely put forth, but instead, I’m just going to say “thank you.” This is a beautiful offering and I hope everyone not only reads it, but invests in the poignancy of the message. ~ Paul McQuillan (owner of BeHot Yoga Toronto and author of “I Hate Yoga.”

    January 7, 2016 at 2:39 pm
  • Thank you for sharing! Many parallels … Beautifully written and amazing guidance and love – thank you again!

    January 8, 2016 at 8:28 am
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