Making a relationship work is a really tough assignment. It takes lots of communication, caring, passion, etc. But the one thing that’s essential is loving who YOU are. Easier said than done, of course, but finding your way there opens up a whole new spectrum in your relationship.
When we’re talking about loving yourself, it’s not the narcissistic kind where you think you’re the best thing since sliced bread, or think you’re infallible or only interact with people of your perceived importance.
What’s loving yourself about then? It’s about:
- Ending the co-dependency. Too many of us too often base our own feelings and emotions on how our partner is doing. If he/she is angry, we’re right there as well. We’re only happy when they’re happy. We feel joy when the other person senses joy. When they worry, we worry. This is not to say that we shouldn’t empathize or want to help our partner because there are going to be times when that’s appropriate. However, there’s a difference between supporting them and ALLOWING ourselves to be at the whim of our partner’s various moods. Learn how to maintain your happiness independent of how others are feeling.
- Asking for what you want. We’re afraid to voice what we want because sometimes we’re worried about how our partners will react. We’re afraid we’re going to hurt their feelings or make them angry. Maybe we’re afraid we’re going to appear selfish. But consider the benefits if you seek out ways to bring out joy, excitement or contentment in your life. All those feelings plus more will be sowed right back into your relationship. When the energy surrounding you is high, the people closest to you can’t help but feel it!
- Self-care. Be nice to yourself. Eat well. Sleep well. Stop beating yourself up with negative dialogue in your head. We know them all too well: I’m too fat. I wish I had more money. I’m never going to find my soulmate. I’m too tired and I have no time to do anything fun. Ugh! Did you feel the heaviness after just reading those words? And here’s a truth: If you feel that way all the time, then it’s likely other people will pick up on that negative energy as well. How freeing would it be if you stopped judging yourself and show up in the world as you are?
You will reap so many benefits — mentally, physically and emotionally — if you treat yourself with love and kindness. Take small steps, but just start!
Cindy is a life coach with a specialty in relationships. She loves helping individuals and couples make the most of themselves and their relationships. If you would like guidance on living a more purposeful and fulfilling life or you want someone to help navigate some of your relationship challenges, contact Cindy to discuss coaching services.
She is trained under the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, a fully accredited program with the International Coaching Federation. She has nearly 20 years of experience in communications, is a mother of two and active in the community.