Having a relationship with yourself is crucial in knowing that whether you’re with company or not, you will be okay. As a little self-disclosure, I started Mindful Loving Project as a way to become more in tune with who I was. Having hopped from one relationship to another, I didn’t know what it felt like to be alone. I was 90% invested in my relationship, and 10% focused on my own personal needs. This terrifying opportunity of “me time”, was the beginning of my embarkment to self-love. This relationship I’ve been forming with myself over the last 3 1/2 years has been so profound and humbling. On this journey, I am learning more about who I am and therefore feeling more comfortable in my skin. ’m beginning to understand my needs, wants and desires, and I am finally learning to trust my own opinions, as opposed to seeking it from others. Most importantly, I am learning that with or without people by my side, I am perfectly content on my own. This, to me, is a breakthrough.
Below I have listed three ways in which you can begin to have a relationship with yourself. Self-love is not a destination, it is an ongoing process of self-discovery. Revealing to us layer upon layer of who we are and what we’re about. I am only in the beginning of my journey, however thought I’d share with you what I’ve been learning along the way.
Identify Your Feel Good Thoughts – Whether it be exercising, making art, volunteering, collaborating, creating, learning, dancing, singing, laughing, exploring, do more of that which makes you feel good. When you take the time to please yourself, you are releasing natural “feel good” chemicals in your body and hence creating good and memorable experiences. These feel good experiences help us differentiate the negative from the positive, thus helping us realize when something in our life is not serving us a positive purpose, and instead draining our energy. The more good we incorporate in our life, the more light we shed on that which does not pertain in it. For example, every time I spend time with my friends, I feel rejuvenated and inspired (good feelings). However, when I come home to my boyfriend, he makes me feel small and insignificant (feelings that drain our energy). By identifying the good, it will also highlight the bad. So pay close attention to what that is in your life and have a sincere conversation with yourself about whether you want to continue allowing that person, place or thing to continue sucking your energy dry.
Have Self-Empathy – This is an area in which I’ve always struggled in. I’ve recently discovered that I’m my own worst enemy. I’ve had countless people in my life point this out to me, and I know they’re perception is correct. Self-empathy is literally just having compassion for ourselves. It’s the same compassion you would want to receive from someone you loved. For me, self-empathy has meant forgiving myself throughout the day for my mistakes. I’ve always been really hard on myself, so instead of self-criticism, I acknowledge my thoughts and make the choice to not react to it’s condemnation. With observation and non-judgment, I am able to detach myself from those destructive ways of being, and thus live more harmoniously with myself.
Self-Affirmations Are Key – This is something I would recommend to clients suffering from depression or lack of self-esteem, however, I myself was not using it. Since working with a coach recently, I have begun to incorporate self-affirmations into my daily routine. I wake up, go to the bathroom and am reminded of my mantras: I love myself, I trust in myself, I believe in myself,I trust my own perception…just to name a few. By providing ourselves with the validations we seek from others, it gives us back our power.
As I mentioned previously, I am only in the beginning phases of this journey. It was only after 2 years of being alone, that I found a partner in which I was willing to begin a relationship with. It is the first relationship (in a very long time), that I feel empowered and secure. Through so many moments of “feeling good” during my alone time, I knew how I wanted to feel in a future relationship, anything less of that I would not tolerate in my life anymore. This “feeling good” gage not only applies to lovers, but with anything in our life. When choose to incorporate certain things or people into our life, not because we NEED it, but because we WANT it, we are acting in alignment with our deepest selves, thus making us happier individuals.