Above anything in this world, I believe that in order to lead a happy, positive, fruitful life one must be in a strong relationship with them self. This might sound a bit odd to some or even an easy thing to accomplish, but a lot of people in life don’t actually get to know them self or feel at ease or comfortable with who they are, in their skin or as a person. Most just float along in life, busy themselves with pointless sh!t and avoid looking deep into their soul…maybe for fear of what they will find. If you think hard about it, you have to like who you are because you have to live with them, inside them – forever!
Being in a relationship with yourself might sound like a corny cliché, but in essence it’s really not. Years ago, if I wasn’t in a relationship with someone, I was either chasing or being chased by the next potential candidate (sorry, recruitment chat). I always had back up, as bad as that sounds! I was never short of dates, parties, texts & late night phone calls (or msn messenger back in the 90s), and general male attention. However, recently after splitting from my partner, it was the first time in my life I had actually been happy, even overjoyed, to be in a relationship…with myself…no rebound, no monkey-grip, no plan B, no next crush, no sexting, no nothing, and damn it felt good. Prior to this moment I am now in, if I didn’t have someone chasing me or if I didn’t have another ‘iron in the fire’ so to speak, I asked myself ‘what’s wrong with me?’ or ‘why doesn’t he want me?’ And this is totally the wrong mentality to have, yet a lot of young twenty somethings experience, and continue to experience. The only reason I can put it down to why I did what I did and felt how I felt, is because I wasn’t ‘in love’ with myself and I didn’t enjoy spending time by myself…I always asked ‘what is everyone else doing?’, ‘what am I missing out on?’… Little did I know that the person I was searching to be with, was ME!
Relationships Counsellor Dr Charmaine Saunders says in her article Relating Without Borders, that ‘self belief and being in a relationship with yourself is not about being arrogant, vanity or boasting, in fact it is the very opposite. It is about self acceptance, recognising the need for continual growth but also the perfection of imperfection’. She says that self trust is what true empowerment is all about because it liberates us from self doubt, self criticism, and self destructiveness.
Fellow blogger and health and lifestyle coach Jessica Harding says in her blog Live Healthy Simply that her key to life is to increase ‘self-love’. She says that leading a healthy lifestyle stems from loving yourself and wanting to treat your body as best as you can, as when you love and respect yourself it becomes very easy to eat healthy foods and treat your body and mind in a way that makes you feel incredible. No wonder she looks so good!
Usually the relationship we invest in the most is our intimate relationships with our partner or loved one. Although this relationship is important and should take a lot of time and energy to maintain, the most important relationship of all is the one with ourselves, yet so many people ‘let themselves go’…just look at Britney Spears after she got married, and divorced..and married, and divorced again. So often you see women who, once tied the knot, become overweight, frumpy and stop taking pride in their appearance. Obviously priorities do change once in a marriage, however no one or nothing should ever let yourself ‘let yourself go’ or stop you from loving yourself.
I believe that you can’t be happy with someone else, unless you are completely happy with yourself. It’s just like that age old saying goes: to love someone else, you must first learn to love yourself. And it’s true!
Being in a relationship with yourself means you need to:
- Love yourself – put yourself as number one
- Respect yourself – ‘your body is a temple’
- Trust yourself – listen to your gut instinct
- Enjoy your own company – explore your passions
- Have me-time – spend time alone with no distractions
- Be confident – get comfortable in your own skin
I do a lot of flying so just like that Qantas safety message states before you take off: In an event of an emergency, be sure to fit your own oxygen mask before helping others.
Simple. As. That.
You need to help yourself first before helping others, just like you need to love yourself before loving others. Who wants to be with someone who is insecure, unconfident, abuses their body with drugs, cigarettes and alcohol, and has no hobbies, passions or aspirations in life or just says they’re going to do something, but never do? No one, you would think, yet I know girls who have been in relationships for over 7 years and still making excuses for the lazy, dead-beat boyfriend who come home every night sits on his ass, hooked smoking weed and playing video games…and worst of all, they’re engaged! I don’t know where women get off thinking their man is going to change overnight once they say their vows!? If anything, it just means you’re stuck with this negative person for life (well…‘until divorce do us part’), and god forbid a child comes into that toxic environment.
You don’t need someone else to be these things in your life. They are inside you. Rely on yourself, be your own rock. Take back your independence. Have a sanctuary or a safe place where you can go and be quiet and be with yourself. For me it’s my bedroom, my Mecca – it’s my safe haven, my refuge, my comfort zone where I can meditate, be creative in my writing, read one of the 7 million half-read books sitting on my bedside table, be cosy and watch a movie and just relax.
The point I am trying to make is simple: love yourself, respect yourself and take care of yourself. Be your own best friend, be your own lover, be your own inner mother (my best friend said to me once, whenever you’re in a sticky situation think to yourself ‘what advice would my mother give me…?’). The more you do these things to yourself, the better, more positive people will be attracted into your life.
What are your tips to creating a better relationship with yourself?