The first relationship that needs to be right, the first person that needs to love you, the first relationship that needs to be healthy is your relationship with yourself. It is this relationship that will form the basis of all your other relationships. I can tell you from personal experience that when your relationship with yourself isn’t a healthy one, it will be very difficult to have a healthy relationship with others.
How is it that this relationship with yourself, when it is not a healthy one, can affect the quality of all the other relationships that you have? When you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself, what you accept from others are crumbs. When I say “crumbs”, I mean you accept put downs, abuse, and abuse doesn’t have to be physical in order for it to be abuse. Abuse can be verbal, mental or/and emotional. You allow others to treat you however way they want even if it means that they disrespect you. When you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself, your “healthy/unhealthy relationship antennas” don’t work properly. In other words, because you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself, you can’t even distinguish the difference between a relationship that is healthy for you versus one that isn’t healthy for you. Any relationship will due and you are more willing to tolerate disrespect because you “think” that despite their disrespect, they still care about you when they really don’t. When you, on the other hand, have a healthy relationship with yourself, one where you accept and love yourself for who you truly are, one where you respect yourself , you expect the same from others and when you are treated with anything less than you deserve, you quickly pick up on this and don’t tolerate it. It’s as if your “unhealthy relationship antenna” goes off and you know you need to move on.
How do you start cultivating a healthy relationship with yourself? I would say start by giving yourself some quiet time. This is time that you give to yourself and it gives you the opportunity to listen to what your soul wants. This is time to reflect on who you truly are. The next thing I would suggest is to start being around those who truly love you and believe in you, even more than you believe in yourself. This is going to help you understand what a true healthy relationship is. I think deep down we do know what a healthy relationship is but when we don’t first have a healthy relationship with ourselves, we ignore or can’t really see that a relationship is unhealthy. However, we can feel that that relationship is hurting us. I also recommend to start doing things that you love. There is something so empowering about doing things that we love. It provides peace, happiness, distraction, an opportunity to learn something about ourselves and we can even grow in self-esteem. In cases where you feel you can’t cultivate a healthy relationship with yourself, I suggest seeing a therapist or a psychologist, someone who is trained to help people overcome these life challenges. This doesn’t make you weak, if anything, this indicates strength because it takes strength to admit that you need professional help to overcome any challenges you are facing.
I can go on and on about how to cultivate a healthy relationship with yourself because this is crucial to your overall wellbeing. Starting now, do your best to start having a healthy relationship with yourself. You will feel and see the benefits spill all over every area of your life.