Last week I discussed how dysfunctional people are drawn to each other. For the record, everyone has some dysfunction in their lives. Some have more than others. The key is what are you doing about your own individual issues. Do you recognize or acknowledge your issues? Are you actively working on changing, growing, and healing from your own dysfunction? Lets face it, we are all works in progress who can do a better job in our relationships with some effort. For starters, healthy relationships happen when we let go of the past hurt, anger, and sadness. Forgiveness is a powerful and effective way to heal from past hurts. Forgiveness is not forgetting or condoning the offense, it is making a conscious choice to release the emotional pain. We will attract healthy people when we respect and love ourselves through our actions. For example, being assertive, saying no, setting healthy boundaries, and managing conflict constructively will create a greater level of self-esteem which others will perceive. Remember, “I teach others how to treat/love me, by the way I treat/love myself.” Avoid compromising your morals, values, and beliefs to be loved or accepted by others. Lastly, don’t take on others’ dysfunction and view them as a “project” or tie your self-worth to their happiness. Codependent relationships consume significant time and emotional energy which can be used to work on yourself. We have the power to create, nurture, and maintain healthy relationships with the proper focus and smart decisions. And don’t forget the three greatest gifts you can give to a relationship: acceptance, forgiveness, and time. Healthy relationships happen through active and intentional behaviors.