I have been thinking alot recently about the idea that our relationships with others are a direct reflection of our relationship with ourselves. If you feel others are not being supportive in what way are you not supporting yourself? If you feel others are being neglectful of their relationship with you in what way are you neglecting yourself?
It has been said that the relationship you have with yourself is the most important one but so often it is ourselves that we always neglect. If you are not meeting your own needs it is hard to meet everyone else’s needs. Women are often taught that spending time on themselves is ‘selfish’ and that they must always be on the go being the best mother, friend, daughter, partner, sister, etc. somewhere along the way we can forget to tune in to our own specific needs and in this state of constantly helping others we are prone to burnout and mental health issues.
The more we look after ourselves and meet our own needs the more we are ‘filled up’ and able to meet other people’s needs or put specific boundaries in place . When we respect ourselves and our time we are more likely to teach others to be respectful of us. We teach others how to treat us. If we don’t respect and love ourselves and have healthy boundaries in place how can we expect other people to do the same. When you respect and love yourself your time and energy is of the utmost importance and you put boundaries in place which enable your needs to be met.
It is so important that we teach our children to be responsible for themselves and their belongings so that they can also be independent and meet their own needs and that they can grow up to not rely on others to be constantly meeting all of their needs. This also goes for anyone else you live with. A relationship should be a mutual give and take if one person is doing all the giving and the other is doing all the taking then it is imbalanced and unhealthy.
When we love ourselves:
1. We prioritise in our day the things that are important to us.
2. We stand up for ourselves and let other people know which behaviour we simply will not permit.
3. We take the time to make ourselves healthy meals because we know that feeling good is important.
4. We make sure our living space is clean and clutter free because we deserve to live in a nice space.
5. We teach our children to be responsible for themselves.
6. We take time to exercise and look after our bodies.
7. We take time to clear our headspace by doing the things we love.
8. We give to ourselves so that we can give to others.
(Photo: Mayur Gala)