Often when we feel like something isn’t right in our life, we look for problems outside of ourselves. How many times have you asked yourself, Am I in the right relationship? Am I with the right person? Is this the right job/school/neighborhood for me? Full of doubt, confusion or frustration, you consider these thoughts over and over and over, trying to find the right answer. Asking, What if I stay? What if I go? It can be tiring and anxiety provoking. We become frozen in our lives, afraid to make a decision one way or another, uncertain about the right choice.
But sometimes that thing that doesn’t feel good or right within us, is ourselves. Is there something inside which you are avoiding by trying to change something outside of you? Perhaps the question you might as is: Am I in right relationship with myself?
To be in right relationship with yourself means to honor and respect yourself. If you are constantly judging and belittling yourself in thought or word, that is not self-respect. You may have been told so many times by others that you are not good, smart, attractive or talented enough, to the point that you believe if yourself. It can be difficult to stop our mind from eating away at our self-esteem if we’ve trained it to do so for twenty-plus years, but it is possible to change our patterns of though. The first step is learning to observe our thinking mind and begin to challenge those self-defeating beliefs.
To be in right relationship with yourself also means to take care of yourself first and foremost, before others. This may sound selfish but I firmly believe that it is most ethical to fill your cup first before you can fill another’s. Think about what you are instructed to do on an airplane in case of an emergency: secure your oxygen mask first before helping others around you. If you are not at your best, you cannot help others with all the care and attention you may want to. Similarly, if you not are in the best relationship with yourself, you cannot be in the best relationship with others.
These are simple ideas, yet they may seem like daunting tasks. Take your time and be gentle with yourself. A dear friend of mine teaches that we will not succeed unless we are gentle with ourselves (remember honor and respect?). Being in right relationship with ourselves is a life long task, as we are ever changing and ever evolving. Be patient with all the new parts of yourself that you discover as you open up to yourself, and then be courageous to share those parts with others in your life.