It’s February ya’ll, and you know what that means, right? It’s the month of love! I know a lot of you Valentine’s Day haters out there think it is a cheesy, Hallmark holiday. But what if we changed our perspective and used this Valentine’s Day to inspire us to work on the most important relationship of all: the one you have with yourself.
I used to think that in order to truly work on yourself, you had to be single. You hear it all the time in our society. “You need to be single/alone to really find yourself.” Or the most cliché of all, “you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.” But my perspective has changed on this. I believe that being in a relationship can be a great opportunity for your partner to expose the parts of yourself that you truly want to change. I also think it can take quite some time to establish a healthy relationship with yourself and to work towards self-love and self-acceptance. So waiting to reach that point before pursuing a relationship seems silly to me.
The thing is, it doesn’t matter whether you’re as single as it gets, dating around, in a committed relationship, or have been married for years. The moment that you stop working on the relationship you have with yourself, you start drifting, and all of the other relationships in your life get that backlash. You disconnect from self, fall into old thought patterns and behaviors, you get confused, and feel lost.
Have you ever really been intentional about working on the relationship you have with yourself? No seriously, take a second to reflect on that… A lot of us have never really worked on building a relationship with ourselves because we have found our worth from all of the other relationships in our lives. We have let it be about everyone else, and now we only really know ourselves through the lens of other relationships.
Sometimes it’s because this is easier. It’s a lot more comfortable to look to others for validation, instead of really sitting with who we are and taking the time to explore that. For the longest time I would avoid this like the plague. I hated sitting in silence, and literally always had to have some sort of background noise on. I later realized that what I was doing was trying to block out my true self. I drowned out my inner thoughts and feelings because it was easier to try to ignore it than it to explore it.
But what if you did explore it? Who are you? What are your patterns? How do you love and why? What do you love about yourself? What do you know you want to change? What are your dreams? Delving into this allows you to bring the best version of you to all the other relationships and aspects of your life.
Working on yourself is not a one-time fix; it has to be constant. There will be ups and downs. There will times where you feel very connected to self and times where you become disconnected again. Don’t let this discourage you, it happens to all of us. Just like you should never stop working on your marriage, you should never stop working on your relationship with you. Remember, growth isn’t linear. Keep going. What matters most, is that you continue to put in the work on the most vital relationship you’ll ever have… the one with YOU!
Tips For Building a Better Relationship with Yourself:
- Check in with your Emotions – Do the uncomfortable thing. Don’t ignore it like I did for so long. Sit alone with yourself. Tap in and ask yourself what are your thoughts, feelings, needs and wants? Do you feel connected to something bigger? Are you satisfied with your daily activities? Dig deep here.
- Connect with your Body – For most of us, this is through our mutual love, CrossFit. However, it doesn’t have to be. This can be breath work, walking barefoot, dancing, you name it.
- Connect with your Spirit – This can look so different for each one of us. I personally am not a religious person, but I do consider myself a spiritual person. Ask yourself, what makes me feel alive? This could be church, meditation, journaling, running, yoga, being out in nature, etc.
- Connect with your Soul – Get creative with this one. What sets your soul on fire? What is something that just feels right when you do it and gives you the feeling of purpose? I feel most connected to my soul through deep, meaningful conversations with others. Explore what this looks like for you.
- Practice Self-Care – “Self-care” is such a buzzword now, but it really is important. Think of the basics. How’s your sleep, nutrition, workouts, recovery, recreation, and mental health? How well are you taking care of yourself? Would you take care of a loved one in the same fashion? Explore the idea of working with a coach or therapist.