On a day focused on romance, love, and things covered in pink or red hearts – it’s got me thinking about relationships. Relationships are as diverse as the chocolates in that sampler box shaped like a heart that will be half price tomorrow at your local grocer. Some are bitter, some are too sweet, some make you feel all gooey in the middle, and some leave you wondering “what the heck was that?”
I have been privileged in my life to have many great relationships – my friends are amazing, my family is wonderful, and my husband is not just my husband, he’s also a best friend. My dogs are even good to me (most the time). I have been blessed. But I don’t really want to talk about any of those relationships today.
The one relationship we often overlook is the relationship we have with ourselves. We spend so much time worrying about other people, taking care of our families and all these other things that we forget to really work on loving ourselves.
As much as we may be surrounded with people, in the end – you have to live with YOU. That is the only common denominator for life.
Some people may act like they love who they are on the surface but by digging a little deeper you might find some cracks in the foundation. Other people, it’s obvious they don’t love themselves through their actions. Maybe they don’t take care of themselves, they have low self esteem, they have a constant negative attitude about things. This is no way to live.
Life is way too short to not enjoy the person you are on your way to becoming. Becoming YOU is a every day journey and you can either have some say so over what is happening, or you can let life pass you by and see what happens. For so much of my life – especially during those unpleasant middle school years I literally have memories of sitting in my bedroom in silence and imagining life just passing me by…like I didn’t have any control over what was happening to me. I always felt like the victim instead of being a person of action. Even as I “grew up” I still felt like this. I didn’t hate myself, but I also didn’t have that great of a relationship with myself. When I look back on my journals (I kept a journal off and on most of my life) – it makes me so sad to see how little appreciation I had for all I was given in my life. I couldn’t get past being overweight, even though I still had a ton of friends who were awesome and thought I was awesome. I just didn’t see it. I never thought that much of myself.
I spent several years in different relationships that didn’t work. There were a variety of reasons things didn’t work – but ultimately, I hadn’t figured out who I was yet – so how could I have picked the right person to be with? It never really dawned on me that I needed to work on myself in order for other things in my life to work, too. Over the last few years, I’ve made enormous efforts to work on me. You know, getting to know myself and what I want from life. And it’s taken years to actually turn my life around and to change those inner negative voices to something that sounds more encouraging.
And 4 or so years ago, when I started this journey of figuring myself out – things started happening for me. I started to want to eat healthier, to work out, to set goals for myself that related to health and wellness because making one good choice led to another and I liked how it made me feel. I felt like I was finally in control because I had actually TAKEN control over decisions in my life and was seeing the results. I ended up meeting my now husband on this journey of really just learning how to be ME and not what someone else wanted me to be.
We are so easily influenced by what others tell us we should be, sometimes it’s hard to hear yourself amongst all the chaos in your life. Sometimes, it feels easier to ignore how you really, truly, deeply feel about something because it might cause a change to occur in your life. But what if that change brings GOOD changes that ripple through your personal timeline, what if taking time to get to know yourself could bring more positive opportunities to you?
You don’t know unless you listen. You won’t know the outcome if you never try. You’ll never have another opportunity to get back this moment, this minute, this day. Right?
It’s about learning to love yourself. I know that sounds egotistical but what I really mean is just being the type of person you would want to be friends with..that makes sense, right? Being the type of person you look for in a relationship. Life moves so quickly, so it’s hard to slow down and really live with just yourself for awhile, to figure out what really lies beneath the schedules, the work, the friends, the chores, the dog walking, the catching up on your tv shows and the what’s for dinner thoughts.
But i absolutely encourage you to start working on the one relationship that is guaranteed to impact every single other thing that will ever happen to you in your life: The one you have with yourself!
Take care of yourself. Say nice things about yourself (like replacing the “this shirt makes me look fat” line with something like “blue is a nice color on me!”). Give yourself time to rest and relax. Make yourself laugh, even if no one else does. For instance, no one saw me crash into the bathroom door earlier today because i couldn’t get the door open as quickly as i thought I could – but it was funny and I laughed at myself about it.
Be your authentic self and the rest of your life will start to reflect decisions that YOU made for yourself. And if life throws you a curve ball, knowing who you truly are and being at peace with that will help you react the way you need to in order to move forward. There are so many personally rewarding things that have happened in my life as a result of just taking the time to get to know who i really am.
During this process I’ve actually discovered a lot about myself. Turns out, I’m pretty interesting.