Most of us realize that our close relationships need attention and nurturing. If you are a parent, you do your best to spend quality time with your kids on a daily basis. If you’re married, you create time to share with your spouse. And the same goes for close friends, siblings, and parents. Why is it that we don’t create the same space in time to commune and communicate with ourselves?
Most of my clients, when they begin working with me, admit that they don’t take time to “sit” with themselves – and that mostly they don’t know how to do it. I would like to address the importance of an intimate relationship with oneself. If you cannot understand yourself, you cannot accept yourself; you don’t know how to guide yourself, and ultimately, you cannot find love and compassion towards yourself. Disconnection from you means disconnection from others.
In order to be able to be open, honest, and authentic with others, you have to be able to
be that way with yourself. A relationship with oneself, just like any other relationship, needs consistent investment of time, attention, and care. When I watch the news or observe people who are destructive to themselves and others, it is clear to me that
they don’t have a caring relationship with themselves. If they did, they wouldn’t compromise themselves and the lives of others. Lack of self-caring can take many forms: take a minute to think of the ways you are treating yourself or feeling about yourself.
Are you critical, harsh, or rejecting towards yourself? Are you neglecting? Are you
avoiding your feelings, needs, and desires? Are you disrespecting yourself and allowing others to disrespect you? Ask yourself what needs to be different – what needs to be nurtured? In the next couple of blogs I will offer you ways to cultivate a caring connection with yourself.
Whatever you feel, think, and do, affects –believe it or not – our dynamic global ecosystem. Maybe you think this sounds a bit grandiose, or even unbelievable, but think about it this way: How many times have you stepped into a meeting with a chip on your shoulder, and somehow the entire atmosphere shifted from one of excitement and joyous buzz to that of sullen blandness?
My point is this: Whether you do or don’t love yourself, your attitude causes a ripple effect in the universal emotional realm. And to be generous and care for yourself, first is to be generous and caring for the rest of humanity.
To love someone properly, you need to know them – know what they need. Know what they appreciate and desire. When you have a basis from which to reach out, you can meet their emotional needs as a supportive friend and loved one.
Stay tuned next week for steps that will help you become that trusted friend to yourself.