Your relationship with yourself is your primary relationship. Regardless whether you are alone or a mother with children, a devoted lover with a husband or wife or equivalent… or simply a loyal employee, basically whatever duo you are a part of, the relationship you have with yourself is the most important and significant relationship you have.
The way you relate to yourself is the foundation of how you relate to everybody in the world.
How you relate to yourself is how you inadvertently relate to your romantic partner, business partner, children, parents, friends, boss and so forth. The way you relate to yourself is even at the foundation of how you relate to your life purpose, physical health and even how you relate to your money.
Obviously then, the relationship you have with yourself is very significant and needs to be a ‘happy relationship’ in order to have all the before mentioned relationships be happy relationships. If you want better romantic relationships, a better relationship with a family member or a better relationship to money even, than the relationship with yourself is what you need to work on.
So how does this relationship work you ask? The answer is very simple. It goes back to the classic saying of ‘You treat others how you treat yourself’.
It started though, the other way around…’you started to treat yourself how you ‘Perceived’ others were treating/ how others were relating to you’! Basically, if you perceived that your father treated you, related to you that you were ‘’not good enough, not deserving of love’’, then, you decided, that that was how you should be treated, how you should be relating to yourself!
Then you established the habit of treating yourself, relating to yourself that who you are is not good enough, not deserving of love and you ended up feeling inadequate deep down about who you were. You automatically started to perceive people around you as not good enough, and judge their behavior, their character, there essence at the end of the day, as ‘inadequate’, not good enough, not deserving of love. Remember, you treat others how you treat yourself! If these feelings of not good enough and inadequacy cause you to be hard on yourself, have high demands and standards of yourself, and have you be critical of yourself, then you will automatically have high expectations and demands you will place on others. And, if peoples character and behavior fall short of these standards and demands you place on them, you will be hard on them and criticize/ judge them to be inadequate. As you do yourself. Get it?
If on the other hand you are accepting of yourself, treat yourself and talk to yourself in an approving, loving way, accepting and embracing of all your ‘imperfections and limitations’, believing yourself to be perfect in all your limitations and imperfections, than you will relate to others in the same light of total acceptance and approval. You will relate to their actions and who they are as perfect and they will feel accepted and experience feeling loved by you. It is impossible to genuinely accept others if you do not genuinely accept yourself. Your lack of self love and lack of self acceptance may make you into a people pleaser, where you lose yourself, give up what is right for you in order to make people around you ‘happy’, and these people may feel ‘accepted & comfortable’ around you to a degree, but this is a different scenario to people feeling genuinely ‘accepted & loved’ by you. This scenario is called co-dependancy, Co-dependancy is often mistaken for genuine love and acceptance by as much as 90% of the world’s population.
My relationship with myself really came into focus in my early 20’s. I had already been meditating for 7 years, from the age of 14, and undergoing breathwork therapy from the age of 17. It was at the age of 20 though that I started to ‘come out of denial’ as they say, about what a major ‘judgment machine’ I was. I started to own that I was powerless over my judgments/ criticisms of people. At the time I related to my self as a ‘spiritual’ person, wanting to ‘become enlightened’ one day, so you can imagine my ‘judgmental-ism’ had no place in my world and I tried with all my willpower and self control to stop my ‘judging’, ‘un-spiritual’ ways. I could not stop it. No matter how hard I tried to be ‘all accepting’ and ‘all understanding’ my self honesty let me in on the fact that my mind would still judge and ‘take people apart in my mind’ in very subtle ways, for example under the guise of ‘seeing people clearly’.
The truth behind my judging was simple. I felt very small and inadequate in my mind. I judged myself as ‘not good enough’ and that ‘there was something wrong with me’. In order for me to feel comfortable and non-threatened by people, I basically developed the skill to ‘take people apart’ and find 101 things ‘wrong with them’ in the 1st 10 seconds of of meeting them. This is what was really happening behind my ‘judgments’ and ‘make wrongs’.
The main emotion behind all this judgment was anger, anger at myself. Simply put, I hated myself. It is a very simple, one plus one equals two, type of equation. Judging is the mental level version of anger. When a person does not own, hence feel and release the raw emotional energy we call anger, it comes out on a mental level. This mental level of anger is what we call judgment, or making other people wrong/ small in our mind. So when we relate to ourselves as someone ‘not good enough’ for example, we are directing anger at ourselves. Self Love cannot exist when this self directed anger exists. You can go as far as saying it is self hate in essence. What is the opposite of Love? Hate! So by implication, if self love is non evident, it implies the opposite, self hate is actually taking its place, but our defenses cannot be with the notion that we actually hate ourselves. Our defenses will just, just, let ourselves entertain the notion of a lack of self love on some level…but, to contemplate we walk around with self hate running the show…well…that is just way, way, too much.
Though have a look at the evidence. If we loved ourselves would we not love ourselves enough to treat our bodies with love? not drink, drug, cigarette, eat our bodies to death eventually? Would we not love ourselves enough to let ourselves win and have abundance? Would we not love ourselves enough to let ourselves experience happiness and joy? Would we not love ourselves enough to give ourselves a relationship that would fulfill us on all levels? If we loved ourselves would we not give our selves freedom incarnate…the greatest gift of self love and freedom whilst in human form – the reclaiming of our destiny…the reason the universe put us here…If we truly loved ourselves, we would realize that no soul has gone through the journey that we have, had the life experiences we have had, accumulated the skills, talents, attitudes that our soul has, hence no one else in existence thinks like we do and have to offer to the world what we have to offer. Real self Love eventually makes us realize that just being ourselves, thinking like we do and viewing life like we do is worth a fortune! How do they measure value in economics? Supply and demand. If there is little of something, It is very valuable ! How many souls have went through exactly what you have? Only one (1), YOU! How valuable are you? You should be getting paid millions just being yourself and sharing your special gift with the collective. That is the end journey of healing your self love. Healing the relationship with yourself!
As published in Nova Magazine October 2013