Always Well Within

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Who Do You Orbit Around?

Who Do You Orbit Around?

Do you orbit around yourself or do you orbit around your parnter?  Or do you orbit around another figure in your life?

Consider these signs, which may indicate you’re circling around someone else.

  • You frequently ask permission to engage in your own activities, work, or play.
  • You feel guilty when you want to take time for yourself and your own priorities.
  • Your moods shift in response to your partner’s moods.
  • You’re constantly tracking his or her state of mind and heart.  At any sign of distress, you feel tension and a need to fix or change his or her state.
  • You’re always flexible and adaptable, putting aside your own plans to go along with your partner’s flow.
  • You’re afraid to rock the boat.
  • You’re always longing for his or her approval.
  • You can never quite feel comfortable in the moment because your energy is not fully grounded within yourself.

Do any of these signs resonate for you?

A healthy relationship, of course, requires conscious compromises, tradeoffs, and sometimes sacrifices.  The circling I’m speaking about refers to an unfulfilling pattern in which you constantly trade your own wishes, preferences, and desires for another person’s.

The Problem with Orbiting Around Someone Else

Orbiting can occur at a subtle, even unconscious level.  Although it’s meant to bring peace and happiness, it more likely brings you unease because your energy is always focused on the other person, almost in a state of apprehension.  Thus, you rarely feel good in your own skin.

This type of behavior often comes from a childhood of insecurity, fear, or disconnection, in which you constantly tracked your parents moods and tried to adapt yourself to their liking.  Or you may have acted in a rebellious fashion, which is another cry for connection.  You may have been attempting to gain love, validation, and security or to avoid anger or abandonment.

This patterning runs deeply and can be challenging to see or to change.

What’s the problem with circling?  You could live your whole life and never be your true self or manifest your deepest dreams.  That will no doubt bring many regrets should your relationship break apart. After all, you circle around your partner in order to keep it together, don’t you?  Then there’s the remorse you’re likely to feel at the end of your life when you realize you weren’t true to yourself.

On an everyday level, tension accumulates in your psyche from all the vigilance, which will run you down on the long run – emotionally and even physically.

Start Circling Around You

To counteract orbiting around someone else, the first step is to feel safe and secure within yourself.  If you don’t feel confident that you can handle whatever arises, including the departure of your partner, you’ll be forever inclined to circle.

Simple ways to align with your true self.

Whenever you notice one of the above signs, take a breath and check-in with yourself.

  • Are you feeling safe?
  • Are you feeling secure?
  • What can you do to soothe and reassure yourself?

While there’s no instantaneous cure for the habit of circling around another, starting working with these steps to reconnect with yourself.

Love and respect your self.  The practice of loving kindness is perfect for this!  It always begins by focusing on love for yourself.  You might feel awkward, squeamish, or undeserving at first.  But if you keep with the practice, you’ll move through these blocks and start feeling the love that lives at the center of your heart – for yourself and everyone else.

Check in with your own energies and wishes for each day.  Make it a practice to start each day by asking what you would like to do.  Scribble a few notes and then go at it.  At the end of the day, come back to yourself and see if you were able to focus upon your own wishes.

Share your intentions for the day.  Instead of asking permission from someone else, share your plans for the day.  Sure, be willing to compromise, but also know what’s important to you.

Learn to gracefully say no.  You don’t have to do everything your partner does, do you?  Engaging in different activities, friendships, and hobbies can enrich your relationship.

Take a break, on your own.  Often, it can be hard to distinguish what you really want if  you’re so enmeshed with another.  Take some time on your own to get in touch with your own wishes, your own flow, and your own pace.  It could be one day, a weekend, or one week.  Take whatever time you need, but do so consciously with love.

Orbiting can take other forms like circling around your children, a parent, or a spiritual figure.  Orbiting around another is not the same as giving a healthy level of attention to the people in your life.  Clearly, young children will need you almost full-on and aging parents may need you to jump into a caregiving role.

But even when you take on these roles, you still need to connect with yourself, or you’ll just burn out.  In fact, you can only give freely when you’re centered in your true self.

Allowing your identity to be defined by someone else, only sets you up for a fall.  If you find you’re orbiting around someone else, begin to take some of the steps outlined above, and slowly reclaim yourself and this precious gift of your life.

What do you think about this idea?  Do you find yourself orbiting around someone else?  I would love to hear.  I value your thoughts, reflections, and self-discoveries.

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra


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  1. I laughed at this one Sandra, even though it’s truly not funny.

    I was that person back in the day, always putting my own desires, my own need for fulfillment at the back of the queue.

    For any of your readers caught up in this I would say it isn’t an easy habit to break, but if you make choices that liberate you the rewards are phenomenal and it’s definitely true that we teach people how to treat us by how we treat ourselves.

    Your steps are a brilliant path to greater freedom and joy. 🙂

    • Hi Elle,

      I’ve been there too! I can still go there sometimes as well, but I’m so much better than in the past. I love how you’ve summarized the benefits of breaking through this habit even if it’s a bit challenging to do so. The whole idea that we teach people how to treat is is an interesting one! Thanks, Elle. I always appreciate your contributions so much.

  2. I used to do this when I was caught in a very negative self-image and abusive relationship…it took me a while to stop circling around others as I healed and found myself and my own safety. Looking forward to the monthly letters!

    • It’s so inspiring to hear that you’ve been able to break out of this pattern. I know your story will inspire confidence in others. I’m glad your looking forward to the letters. I’m so excited about writing them! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. I think when I was younger I tended to look for external validation from others and would constantly look for it by orbiting 🙂 I feel so much better these days being true to myself. We have so many resources within ourselves that we need to learn to draw from. Thanks for this reminder Sandra. As always you are wonderful with words.

    • It’s so good to hear that you have grown out of this too, Melissa. It gives hope to those caught in this cycle. And, I can sometimes still go there too. You’re so right, we have so many tools within ourselves which can be so profoundly transforming. Thanks for your kind words. They warm my heart.

  4. Oh my my Sandra,
    You took me way back when with this orbiting business 🙂 Not a very good place to be…cause we then tend to forget who we really are and get lost in the transition. Coming back to your true self then takes a LOT of work..a LOT. I go back and forth at times…but very rarely now. I bounce back to true self mode quicker now. Self love has helped immensely.
    Your monthly joyful letter sounds beautiful! Looking into it now.
    Love always,

    • Dear Zeenat,

      It’s so interesting how we’ve all been there and strive to be in our true self now. It really shows there is hope. We don’t have to deny ourselves, that’s where our happiness lies. Thanks for your tip on self-love. Yes, I can still go there at times, but I’m so much better than before. Still working on my boundaries.

  5. I have also been there, done that but not so much now—-but as others have said, I sometimes revisit that place. Not very often —-does not feel very good or true to who I am now. But, dang, it sure did take most of a lifetime to accomplish! 🙂 Better late than never, though :).

    • Dear Jean,

      We’re still human so it’s okay! It’s wonderful you have come so far and you know it doesn’t feel good or true to circle around another. I think we’ll be working on some part of our evolution until the day we die and beyond! Hugs and love to you.

  6. Wow Sandra those signs took me back! That used to be me. I was so scared about offending others that I completely lost myself for years. I’m so glad I’m no longer there.

    • I’m so happy your no longer there too, Sharon. Isn’t it interesting to be able to look back and see how we’ve changed? Be well!

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