Tomorrow is Valentines Day
You can’t really love someone else until your have learned to love yourself, is a saying that many of us have heard over the years. How true is this and is it backed up by science, or research. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of evidence published to support this claim. Maybe it would help if we rephrased the statement to something like, “it helps to know and like yourself, in order to develop a loving relationship”. In relationship counselling the focus is on the relationship between the couple in the room. However, as a couple work through the difficultie’s and issues they face in repairing their relationship, their personal and individual dilemma’s quietly surface and intertwine with the drama unfolding inside the room.
How well do you know yourself, and how well do you you treat yourself. If you stop and think for a moment, how often during the week do you take time out to check in on the relationship with yourself. How often do you take five minutes to reflect on how well you have treated yourself in the days events. Given the pace of life we live today I would probably guess that very few of us have time to think about the relationship we have with ourselves, never mind actually stop and check it out. With the amount of commitments we have with work, children, paying the bills, meeting our friends, we might just get five minutes to look through our Facebook page. If we stop and think about it many of us rarely give the relationship with ourselves a second thought. That doesn’t mean we don’t have the occasional rant about how a friend, a family member, our boss, or colleague has treated us. But thats not really checking in on our own relationship. Checking in on our relationship with ourselves might mean acknowledging some painful issues, that we might prefer not to see. Maybe we are not in a career that fully deserves us, or in a company that does not fully deserves us. Maybe we have lost sight of what we really entered a relationship for, and feel that its too late to ask for those needs to be met. Maybe we are going through a really painful process or loss and feel that its a burden we cannot share, and so have isolated ourselves.
Taking time for Self Compassion
Relationships take time and space to develop. A question that often surfaces in couples counselling is how much time the couple take for themselves, and where do they spend that time together. How much time do you take to be with yourself and where do you spend that time. Do you get time to think back on the days events and take time to reflect on how you treated yourself. One reason that relationships break down is because we don’t give them the time and space they need. The relationship with ourself is no different. Having to face uncomfortable truths about ourselves is one reason we fail to give our personal relationship time and space. However a far more difficult issue with spending time alone is that it may require us to be a little kinder to ourselves. It may require some level of self compassion. Most of us have no problem beating ourselves up, and sometimes saying really cruel things to ourselves. Thoughts and idea’s we label as negative thoughts, but a label that hardly does justice to hard we can be on ourselves.
Why not make five minutes today to reflect on the relationship with yourself, and maybe have a few kind words to say about the person that you are.