How Good Is Your Relationship with Yourself?
By Joyce Shafer
We know that it’s necessary (and fulfilling) to get along with others, but it’s even more so regarding yourself. In fact, this should be a priority.
You cannot always control but can influence what happens around you, and definitely within you. What matters even more than what you can influence in your external life is how much you trust yourself, how you feel about you – because this is the foundation of your influence on your Self and in your life. You need a good relationship with yourself in order to have a good relationship with each moment of your life and with others.
Many of us think we have a reason to feel good and think well of ourselves, and speak well to ourselves, ONLY if and when the outward appearances of our life match the (often) ambiguous model in our mind created from bits and pieces from others, like a patchwork quilt thrown together at random by people not in alignment. This confusion leads us to self-criticism that isn’t deserved or useful, in good times and especially in not so good times. When life is difficult or challenging, it’s more important than ever to say encouraging, loving statements to ourselves. Why is this so difficult for us? Here’s a reason to consider.
When your ego-mind has a negative thought, it identifies with it. This means your ego-mind believes it (you) and the thought are one, which can never be true, though you may behave as if it is. If you have the thought that 2 + 2 = 4, this doesn’t make you a number or an equation. Neither would you ever imagine it would or could. But with ego-mind, the image created by a thought “becomes” your identity, as far as ego-mind is concerned. It doesn’t separate an event, thought, or feeling from the individual – you.
But here’s a twist: For some reason, ego-mind doesn’t tend to identify with positive thoughts, feelings, and events as readily and as fully as it does with negative ones. That’s something to ponder. Why is it that, though we desire and strive to feel and live our power and joy, we “allow” or feel compelled to allow negative self-assessment and negative perspectives to reign over our personal and creative power?
You have to watch this because when a challenge arises, ego-mind will rush to identify with the negative about you and/or a worst-case scenario. This is a problem because the Universal Law of Matching Vibrations is always engaged. So you witness and experience more effects of what ego-mind causes to be matched. Then ego-mind identifies more and more with what is basically or predominantly an illusion fed and perpetuated by a negative energy loop, sometimes known as a “vicious cycle” or “self-fulfilling prophecy.”
You can avoid these loops by identifying with your Spiritual Being aspect, the True you. Start doing this by releasing resentments you hold about or against yourself. This isn’t just about anything you’ve done that you know you shouldn’t have or wish you hadn’t, but also about self-judgment - that tendency to beat up on yourself about darn near anything and everything.
Notice what you accomplish, no matter how small or grand. Notice what you do right. Allow yourself to be okay. Notice if you’re engaged with Being or engaged with expectations – and whose expectations. If they aren’t yours, you’re on someone else’s loop. Trying to match your worth to what you do or get done is a good way to frustrate and hold resentments about yourself. You have worth because you exist, not because someone determines this or taught you to determine this based on what you do or have.
The more grievances, real or imagined, you carry about yourself, the more difficult or challenging it is for you to make headway in conscious awareness and in life. I know we’re concerned with life matters, and for good reason, but conscious awareness is key to how you experience life. This should be attended to simultaneously to life matters, but considered a priority…if you really wish to experience life from a higher and better perspective. And, quality of perspective has all to do with the quality of your experience.
When you give the gift of forgiveness to yourself, you open up to live your life instead of always trying to meet an ideal that may be unrealistic or even not aligned with who you really are. It’s like trying to be a sculptor when you’re really a chef, and berating yourself because sculpting isn’t going well. This is one kind of negative loop many are circling around on.
There’s also another aspect to consider, of an intuitive nature. I’ve had certain experiences, and maybe you have too, when there was something to get done but for some reason, I waited. At such times, my ego-mind wants to get going with criticisms about this. Then something happens, even if it’s that I receive more (significant) information, which shows me that acting sooner would have been too soon. This is tricky because it involves intuition or gut feeling; and some of us aren’t used to trusting this or even recognizing it for what it is. So we either act too soon (and maybe too forcefully) or we go into self-critical mode, both of which are ways to waste energy and create more negative energy loops.
Another negative loop is a result of not loving yourself. If you’re not happy or don’t love yourself, how easy will you be to get along with? And, it’s not only about who you’ll attract but what you’ll attract into your life. If you don’t love yourself, you’ll look to others to “make” you feel loved or happy. This means the quality of your love given, and your joy, is affected, including by “I’m only going to give what I (believe, determine I) get first.”
This also means you seek validation of your worth from others, which is like chasing a swarm of flies around a field so you can put them into one container. The opinion about you that matters most is yours. But you need to see yourself through different eyes than you may have been using so far. See yourself through Spirit’s eyes. Spirit knows you have beauty and strength.
A big reason many don’t love or accept themselves is because they have unrealistic expectations of themselves. This comes from their attempts to fit a model or mold determined by others, rather than easily and naturally BE who they are. Who we are is meant to unfold throughout our lifetime, and does so, unless we get stuck in a heavy negativity loop. As one translation of Lao-Tzu’s wisdom says, “How can a man’s life keep its course if he will not let it flow?”
A good relationship with yourself can help you avoid much self-inflicted discomfort and emotional pain. It can open you to better experiences because you release yourself from the self-negativity loop and from having this matched by the Law of Matching Vibrations. Consider any thought habits that don’t support you as a loop to get off of. Consider the quality of the relationship you have with yourself on a “hamster wheel” vs. a path of Being.
It’s almost time for the New York City Marathon. The participants pass just a few blocks from the apartment I had there. I’d go to my favorite corner to cheer all of them, first through last. What I never did was shout derisive comments. I’d shout things like “You can do it!” and “Woo-hoo!” More than likely, you’d do the same. Imagine how you would feel if you cheered yourself on as you would the marathon participants, from the professional runners to the ones last in line. Heck, don’t just imagine it, do it. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.
Practice makes progress.
Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru” and other books/ebooks, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles and free downloads. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at State of Appreciation.