How would you describe your relationship with yourself?
Is it loving? Kind? Forgiving? Is there trust? Does it have good communication? Do you treat yourself well? Would you say you are friends with yourself, with your body, your mind, your spirit?
Let’s be real here. Take a look at your self talk, the things that go through your mind when you look in the mirror, what you tell yourself during times of struggle, etc. If your spouse spoke to you the way that you speak to yourself, how would you feel? Would this make for a healthy relationship?
The most powerful relationship that you will ever have is the relationship with yourself. -Steve Maraboli
Lately, I have been working on getting to know my body and becoming a better friend to all parts of myself. It has truly been eye-opening for me, and has caused me to take a look at all aspects of my life and how I am reacting and behaving.
When you think about it, there isn’t anyone that you could possibly know as well as yourself. Improving your relationship with yourself has the potential to make powerful changes in your health, mindset, attitude, energy, emotions, and more. I hadn’t really paid much attention to my body and took so many things for granted. I also hadn’t been as mindful of my thoughts and beliefs as I could be. Just taking some time each day to nurture this friendship with my body has made a big difference in how about I feel about myself, and also how I engage with others.
Several years ago, when I wanted to improve my relationship with my husband, I read a book called “Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. There are 5 basic ways that we share love with others, and that we prefer to receive love. The five languages are Words, Touch, Gifts, Quality Time, and Service. These same principles can be applied to loving your Self and improving your relationship with your body, mind and spirit.
5 Love Languages for Self-Love
- Words: Pay attention to your thoughts and words, and keep them positive, encouraging and nurturing. Add in positive self-talk, affirmations, saying “I love you, I’m grateful for you, and I appreciate you.” Grab a notebook or journal and write down all the things you love, appreciate, and are grateful for that your body does. For example: I appreciate my lungs and how they constantly breathe in and out, without stopping, without being reminded, every single day. What an amazing feat!
- Touch: Apply lotion or oil to your body, and as you rub it in think loving thoughts, and lovingly massage it into every part of your body.
- Gifts: Treat yourself to something that makes you smile or makes you happy. Flowers, a cup of your favorite beverage, a new outfit that will look great on you…any little thing that will express love for yourself by giving it to yourself.
- Quality Time: Taking time to meditate, journal, walk or take a bath…as long as it is dedicated to connecting to yourself, without other distractions or agendas. To make a special connection with your body, get in a comfortable position, quiet your mind, feel into every part of your body starting at your toes and slowly moving up to the top of your head. Imagine sending love to each part, giving it a hug, saying “I love you, toes. I love you, ankles.” Paying attention to any information you receive from your body.
- Service: Whatever you do to serve your body, your Self and your relationship. Taking a class or reading a self-help book, working on self improvement, eating better, exercising, taking care of your health and wellbeing. Ask your body, “how can I help you? What makes your body feel good? Moving, dancing, going for a walk, eating good food, getting a massage, soaking in a hot bath… If you are not sure, go back to the last exercise and while you are connected to your body, ask it what it wants, what makes it feel good. Make an effort to do something that your body is asking for, or that would make your body smile. Treat it like you would a best friend, and do something nice for it, to make it happy.
If you take time every day to express your love for yourself in any of these five ways, you will discover which ones resonate with you, which are most effective, and which you need to do more of. Taking the time to cultivate self-love and become your own best friend will be the most powerful and worthwhile endeavors you make.
As Louise Hay said, “Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.”
Create a loving relationship with yourself, and watch the miracles abound!
If you have difficulty cultivating self-love and notice issues bubbling up that have been getting in the way of your loving yourself, seek help from a professional specializing in healing, it will make the journey much easier.