“The most important relationship we can all have is the one you have with yourself. The most important journey you can take is one of self-discovery. To know yourself, you must spend time with yourself, you must not be afraid to be alone.
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. Do you agree? Some might argue that statement, suggesting that it should be with a significant other or their children.
But I ask the question, how can you FULLY be the best you in those relationships if you are putting yourself on the backburner?
A healthy relationship with yourself is the ability to value yourself as a person and embrace your strengths, while kindly identifying areas where you want to develop and grow.
I was 17 when I started dating my ex-husband. As we grew in our relationship, we both became co-dependent on each other, to the point where I honestly didn’t know who I was. I thought I did, I never felt “lost”, but looking back, my relationship was so much about the couple, and not me.
It wasn’t until my divorce that I realized I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t really have a relationship with myself and honestly, I didn’t really like me.
From the time we are young we want approval from our parents, from our friends, from our teachers. Then we grow up and seek approval from our parents, our friends, our bosses and our partners.
What happened to seeking approval from ourselves? Why is it we live life wanting to make other people prouder of us than we want to make ourselves?
- How many times in your life have you put your needs or desires to the side to please another person?
- How many times have you said yes because you were afraid of losing someone or being judged?
- How many times have you lost yourself to someone or something?
Having a healthy relationship with yourself improves your relationship with others. It is impossible to be 100% emotionally available to others (partners, friends, children) if you aren’t connected to and emotionally available to yourself first.
5 reasons why the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.
1. You’re in it for the long haul: Are you ready to have your mind blown? You are the one and only person that will be in your life forever! You literally can never escape yourself. Since that is the case, don’t you want the person you spend the most time with to be pretty awesome? Learn to enjoy your own company, learn to enjoy that alone time.
2. I love you, YOU: Self-love and self-care are buzzwords in the personal development community. I am not talking about Narcissus from Greek mythology here. Self-love and self-care aren’t narcissistic unless there is the need to leverage your own awesomeness against others.
Self-love means loving yourself unapologetically, whereas self-care is about taking the time to feel good in your skin. While these two are different, they’re both necessary. They are like taking vows with yourself. “For better or worse, in sickness and in health”. You will argue, you will laugh, and in the end, you are committed to each other forever. It’s best to respect, love and support each other (remember they are both you), because when shit hits the fan (which it always does at some point) you will be there for you.
3. Hello in there: Only you can hear your thoughts and what are you saying to yourself inside your head. It may feel like enough to have 1 or 100 people tell you that you are attractive, smart, funny, but until you truly feel it inside, you will never reflect that. Short and sweet!
4. It does a body good: There are three parts to this and I’m going to get real. If masturbation talk makes you uncomfortable, move on to tip 5. First off let’s talk about diet. You are the only person that knows how bloated you feel after eating a plate of fried food with a side of heavy cream, topped off with extra bacon. I’m not suggesting that you should only eat kale and quinoa for the rest of your life, but listen to your body. You’ll know what to expect if you do try to indulge in the ultimate burrito with extra cheese and jalapenos.
I’m a runner but I’m not telling you to run. Does it hurt your knees, then listen to your body and don’t run. But find something to do because being physically active makes you feel better. Don’t say “SURE” to a 50 mile bike ride with a friend just because you are afraid to say no. Try new things, experiment, find what you like and what works for you.
Next, let’s talk about sex…with yourself. How do you know how to tell someone else what you like, if you don’t know what you like? It’s a way for you to get to know your body. Not only does it feel amazing, but masturbation can also reduce stress; orgasms release oxytocin and dopamine. Win, win!
5. Your other peeps: It will help you in your other relationships. I honestly had no idea as adults, friends could break up with you. That was until it happened to me and two of them broke up with me in a short period of time, TWO! It just never occurred to me that friends could break up with you.
I have never broken up with a friend as an adult and now looking back, I can see it might have been a good idea because their friendship wasn’t serving me. “Friends are sometimes for a season or for a reason. They come and go out of your life but were there when it served you both”. One of my friends that broke up with me said it, and I 100% believe it.
Because I didn’t know myself, love myself, and I was lost when these women were in my life; I was not the friend that they needed in their lives at that time. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but a lesson nonetheless, to teach me that when I invested in myself and learned to love myself and the relationship I had with myself, I would be a better friend, a better daughter, a better partner and a better person for all the relationships in my life.
Letting go of relationships in your life because they aren’t serving you is actually very brave. Don’t be afraid of losing people, be afraid of losing yourself. ⠀⠀⠀
You will have different kinds of relationships with numerous people throughout your life. Some good, some bad. But each one will bring something unique.
Relationships with family and friends certainly add to your overall happiness and joy in life. However, there is one important relationship that matters more than any other relationship, and by working on this relationship consistently, it’s going to enhance all of your other relationships and experiences.
That my friend, is the beautiful relationship you have with yourself.
Remember, You Got This!