Having a good relationship with life is usually linked to the connections we have with people in our: 

  • Intimate relationships
  • Family Relationships
  • Work Relationships
  • Close Relationships (friendships)

However, in order to have a good relationship with life and the people in our lives we need to have formed a loving and supportive relationship with ourselves first because:

“I think the most important thing in life is self-love, because if you don’t have self-love, and respect for everything about your own body, your own soul, your own capsule, then how can you have an authentic relationship with anyone else?”

       Shailene Woodley

It took me 42 years (and I’m now 47) to finally be able to say with my hand on my heart that I have a loving and supportive relationship with myself…most of the time.  As in every relationship, there are ‘bad’ days and, boy-oh-boy, there are days I even want to break up with myself.  

 

heart wall

But at the end of the day, the person you’ll be spending your life no matter what is with yourself.  So we’ve got to start loving and accepting ourselves and all our perfect imperfections that make us unique.

It makes perfectly good sense, therefore, to love and respect yourself, to treat yourself with the upmost care. Be honest with yourself, be compassionate and kind. It also means you listen (like really, really listen) to yourself and take heed of the warning signs that (your name) gives you.  Be true to who you fundamentally are and move forward without fear, without anger, without resentment, without blame, without punishment and without feeling like you’re a helpless victim.

Moving out of the victim role and towards more self-belief, -worth, -respect and compassion starts by truly falling in love with yourself.  Making yourself your main priority even though you (and others) think that’s a selfish thing to do.  In the words of Jerry and Esther Hicks “selfishness is the sense of self.” Being selfish means that you care a lot about the way you feel and are able to put yourself first, which, trust me, is the way it should be.

Nonetheless, we’ve grown up and are pre-conditioned to believe that being selfish is a bad thing, in fact it isn’t. A healthy dose of selfishness is good – and we need to learn and accept that “Everyone is selfish.  It is not possible to be otherwise.”

When you believe that the only way to be who you are is to dedicate all of yourself, 100% of who you are on anyone or anything other than yourself, you’ll find your energy slowly but surely gets sucked out of you until there’s nothing left to forge that loving relationship with yourself.  As we’ve grown up being told not to be selfish, we find ourselves feeling incomplete if we aren’t gracious enough to give all of ourselves away. We do this in spite of ourselves, giving so much away we have nothing left for the person that truly matters, (your name).

 

Life isn’t always going to be easy

We’ve got to accept life isn’t always going to be a bed of roses, in the knowing that whatever life throws at you, you can get through it, but this requires you take a good look at yourself first. It’s deciding how much you’re willing to endure and whether or not you want to change your circumstances.  The way to do that is to examine the relationship you have with that one special person – YOU.

Truth be told, we’re never the helpless victim being dragged through this journey we call life on a whim.  

Refusing to acknowledge you’re responsible for your life, which includes the choices you make, your behaviour, your thoughts and your actions will mean more of the same – more uphill struggles and less of a relationship with yourself and leading to learned helplessness or becoming the victim.

 

Learned helplessness

Learned helplessness is the belief that we have no control over a situation that whatever we do is futile. It’s when we are passive in the face of an unpleasant or harmful situation, even when we actually have the power to change the circumstances. In fact, learned helplessness theory (Martin Seligman 1967) is the view that depression results from a ‘perceived’ lack of control over the events in our lives which result from prior exposure to (actually or apparently) uncontrollable negative events.

While we may not have control over the external factors, we do have control over the way we choose to respond to them such as:

  • Your behaviour (including what you say and how you say it)
  • Your thoughts (self-talk)
  • Your actions (what you do)
  • Your beliefs (both conscious and unconscious)
  • Your visual imagery (including your images of the past, present and future)
  • Your communication (how and what you say )

Simply, you can change your thinking, change your communication, change the pictures you hold in your head and you can change your behaviour. You can break out of your conditioned responses to circumstances, increase your awareness and change your actions. All this leads to a new outcome and towards increased optimism especially when we actually see we have the power within us to change.

Knowing that we are responsible for our lives is truly the key to a happier, more positive and loving relationship with ourselves. Knowing and setting clear boundaries, what we will or won’t accept from others because it undermines the relationship we have with ourselves, builds a healthy foundation for a better relationship with life.

Today, I challenge you to do something for (your name). It could be anything that you’ve wanted to do but just haven’t got around to doing. Maybe it’s finally making that decision, doing something you’ve been putting off, telling someone what you really want, think or feel, finally doing that (your idea), you’ve put on hold because you’ve not had the time, stopping something because it no longer serves you, or starting something new that you’ve always wanted to do.  

Today I challenge you for the next 30 days to look in the mirror every evening and say to the person looking back at you “(your name), I love you” because after all:

 

“Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.”                                             

Whitney Houston

Image courtesy of  Tyler Nix / Unsplash

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