Building a Relationship With Yourself

We have many other relationships: our family members, friends, partners, coworkers and such, but what about ourselves – the person we spend the most time with and the person that is always around, a part of us and constantly in our head? This relationship gets overlooked and ignored the most, but why? Western society has taught us that it’s good and normal to work ourselves silly. That successful people and success comes from working long hours, getting little sleep, popping a pill to address the side effects of not caring for ourselves, grabbing whatever food is the fastest and shoving it down our throat, having our phone attached to us and constantly being on it so we don’t miss anything. We slave and work away the best years of our lives towards someone else’s dream. No wonder we’re all so depressed, anxious, exhausted, over-worked, and stressed out.

What if we slowed down a bit. Learned to enjoy and find joy in little things, and really take it in. Like the feeling of walking on or sitting on the earth- feeling the coolness of the mud, noticing little flowers, feeling the warmth of the sunshine on our face, the breeze through our hair, noticing how the air smells, feeling the texture of trees and rocks, and so on. This is called grounding. This is also very powerful for when we’re feeling lost, alone, or disconnected. It makes me feel like I’m one with the universe and like everything is connected and there is purpose and meaning to everything. Taking time to slow down and get grounded by spending time in nature or meditating or both is a great way to combat depression and anxiety and an excellent first step to caring for yourself, and building a relationship with yourself.

Spent time with yourself; learn to enjoy your own company. If you don’t enjoy your own company, why would other people? I’ve learned to really enjoy and value the time I get alone. Alone doesn’t have to be a negative thing. I quite enjoy going to a nice little local cafe, get a table outside if I can, and sipping on a mocha and some delicious food while I read a book. Sometimes, I leave the book home, and just sit there, sipping on my frothy beverage just fully enjoying being present in that moment, noticing the soft mumble of chatter from other people in the distance, the warmth of the cup on my hands, and the chocolatey aroma from my cup. Enjoying the simple things in life and allowing that joy to fill you up is a game changer. This can look different for everyone and everyday. It might mean enjoying a hot bubble bath with epsom salt and candles or a date night with yourself complete with your favorite wine and a meat and cheese board and your favorite chic flick (this is my go to). It might mean getting up early when the house is still quite to have a few moments to yourself so you can journal, read, stretch or do yoga, meditate or whatever you’d like the privacy and peace to do alone.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into self talk cause it’s a big one. We all have this inner voice and monologue constantly running in our own heads, and if we aren’t careful or don’t pay much conscious attention to it, it can run our lives without us even realizing it. Do you keep track of the things you say to yourself or the words you use? This inner voice can be very critical, judgmental, and cruel. It knows you better than anything and will use your fears and weaknesses against you. Our minds are designed to keep us safe, but keeping us safe also means keeping us small, in a contained box, and repeating the same things we already know are “safe” over and over. If we have a new idea or want to try something different, it will often tell us things to keep us in our safe box. Things like: “Who do you think you are to do ______, you don’t have the skills, education or experience, no one will take you seriously.” “That’s a big stretch, and there’s no guaranty it will work, it’s better to keep the 9-5 job where you have insurance and a steady paycheck.” Or the voice can be really mean and hurtful. “No one really likes you, they just put up with you.” “No one chooses me, even my dog would rather spend time with other people.” “I’m fat, hideous, and are covered in stretch marks and cellulite, who would ever love me?” “Everyone always abandons me; it’s not safe to get close to anyone, cause eventually they will leave just like everyone else.” Some of these thoughts may be deeply ingrained subconscious beliefs. You can try giving a name to this voice, like Karen. Then you can say, “What do you know, Karen, you’re just a controlling, jealous b*7%@ trying to bring me down. Not today Karen!” The best thing to do is start noticing the voice, and the things it says, write it down, keep track of it. What is it saying, where are the messages coming from? Is it a place of fear, need for control, feeling unworthy? Do you notice any patterns from this voice? Is it a subconscious belief? Is it your own belief or is it from someone else or society? Question them, and remove any that don’t belong to you. You can say, “Sorry Karen, but that’s not my belief, I actually believe ____, we’re gonna shift to this from no on.” This voice lies and deceives. Be sure to call it out and also question wether it is telling the truth or not; 9 times out of 10, it’s not the actual truth.

Eliminating the self talk is just part of it, the second part is replacing the negative self talk with something more positive, otherwise you’ll just revert back to what is familiar. Be your own personal cheerleader. Talk yourself up, lift yourself up, and speak to yourself with love, kindness and respect. Find compassion for yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for things you’ve done in the past, mistakes you’ve made, or for not being where you hoped you’d be by now. If you’re not sure how to start, pretend you’re talking to your best friend, or a small child you care deeply for. You’re not gonna tell them, “Wow, you really suck at that, you should just give up and quit while you’re ahead.” Instead, you might say something like, “That was a solid effort! You did great! Of course, there’s room for improvement, there always is. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not growing. Allow yourself to just be a beginner and enjoy the learning process and enjoy the journey this takes you on. You’re gonna have a blast!” Doesn’t that sound and feel so much better? When things aren’t going so well and you are really struggling, try switching the narrative. Instead of “Why does this keep happening to me?”, try “What is the lesson to learn here; what is this trying to teach me?” I’ve found a lot of my lessons, especially the big, really hard ones were teaching me to love myself, choose myself, learn to respect myself, set boundaries, not chase people, self awareness around something in me, or I opened my eyes to an old wound that really needed attention. This was one of the best lessons I ever learned: things don’t happen to you, they happen for you. Shift the narrative. Go from being the victim to being the survivor, the warrior, the goddess or whatever fits you.

Work on loving yourself. Find reasons to be grateful for who you are, where you are, and the body you have. Instead of focusing on everything that’s not to your liking, focus on what your body can do. Can you breathe? Can you eat? Can you taste delicious food? Are you mobile? Can you move your body- all your limbs and such? Do you have all your limbs? Start here. Be grateful for these, because not everyone can. Thank and love your body for allowing you to do the things you love and things that are really helpful. For allowing me to walk, run, frolick, play, hike, dance, climb rocks, do yoga, workout, sing, play the piano, play with my fur babies, and drive my car around. Notice the strength and power your body does have, be thankful for that, and grow from there. We so often take these things for granted, but how would it feel if any of these were suddenly taken away from you? Our bodies do so much for us, thank it, be grateful for it. Love it.

What do you love about yourself, about who you are? Can you list 10 things you love about who you are? I don’t mean about your physical appearance, I mean about your soul, about the essence of who you are. Are you kind to strangers, a good friend, loyal, loving, playful, ambitious, creative, so forth and so on. Think about what it is that makes you who you are and that you love about yourself. Write it down. Put it where you can see it on the daily. Don’t ever forget or lose who you are.

Now think about where you are in your life. There’s probably things that aren’t perfect, there usually are. Are you now in a place or situation that maybe you use to want to be in so badly? Maybe it’s something little. I use to live in a community with my coworkers, and while I had my own place it was in pretty bad condition. Now I’m thankful for reliable and fast wifi, a roof that doesn’t pour water into my kitchen every time it rains or snows, a rodent free home, a dog door and fenced yard for my pooch, and central air conditioning. It’s the little things. The grass is always greener, but if we keep chasing that green grass we lose the beauty of the present, and if you aren’t living in the present, are you really living?

Image by: https://www.chrysaliscounselingstl.com/personal-growth/are-you-living-in-the-present/

If you are struggling with your relationships, work, feeling anxious, depressed or anything really, oftentimes our relationship with ourselves is where the issue lies. Starting by becoming aware of how your relationship is with yourself and the kind of self talk you use is a great starting point, after all you can’t change something you aren’t aware of. The quote above is one of my absolute favorites, because it’s so true. Anxiety is when you stress and worry about things that haven’t happened yet. Depression is when you are stuck in the past. When you start living in the present, in this very moment, everything else falls away, and true joy and happiness can be experienced. When we meditate, our breathe anchors us to the present home, the here and now. When you start doing the self work to get out of your head, and calm the negative, fear-based chatter, you start being able to live in the present. Building and maintaining a relationship with yourself is the single most important thing you will ever do, because the relationship we have with ourselves runs and dictates how every thing in our lives goes. Our relationships and friendships, our hope, joy, peace, career, dreams, and so much more. If we are filled with anger, regret, bitterness, negativity, insecurity, distrust, hurt, or shame, this will flow out into all other areas of our lives and will continue to attract those things and people with similar hurts. When we raise our vibration, let go of low vibration energies and people, we free up room for higher vibration people, opportunities, abundance, and things to come into our lives. It happened for me, and so many others, it can happen for you. Love yourself, always.

If this message was helpful for you or spoke to you in some way, please let me know! If there’s a topic you’d like me to write about, please comment below. I hope you enjoyed this. Until next time. <3Laura

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