It’s not with your parents or siblings. It’s not with your spouse, your kids, or your pets. It’s not with your friends or co-workers. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it isn’t even the one you have with the Divine, because some aren’t ready for that kind of a relationship. There is one relationship that we all have, no matter who else is – or is not – in our lives, and it is the most important relationship of our lives. Do you know what it is?
It’s the relationship that we have with ourselves.
On the surface, that may seem stupid, selfish, or childish – but it isn’t. It may seem like an oversimplification, but I promise you: it isn’t. Your relationship with yourself will dictate the circumstances of every other relationship you will have with anyone else.
Think about it: if you do not feel like you are worthy of love, do you think you will ever accept love from yourself or anyone else? If you do not feel like you are good enough, do you think you’ll ever be motivated enough to give anything enough effort to succeed? If you do not feel like you are capable of changing your life, do you think you will make a conscious change to your life?
Does the idea still seem stupid, selfish, or childish to you? If so, stop reading now. I can’t help you. No one can.
Not even you.
Let that sink in for a moment.
How do we get to have a good relationship with ourselves? By determining what we need, making it a priority, and then working towards that. Simple, but not easy.
If your relationship with yourself is a good one, then you know your limits – and you don’t overcommit. You never feel like you’re running yourself ragged. You know when you need a break, and you take one – before you blow up at the kids, your spouse, your co-workers, or your boss. You take the time to get enough sleep – and have more patience and think more clearly. You eat the healthier food for dinner – and physically feel better. You also eat the cookie for dessert – because life is about balance, not denial.
That doesn’t sound stupid, selfish, or childish to me. That sounds like being a better parent, co-worker, spouse, and caregiver. That sounds like being in better mental and emotional health, which means that you are more resilient when things inevitably come up.
There is no shame in saying, “I need a break.” There is no shame in telling someone, “No. I have enough commitments already.” There is no shame in saying, “This can wait until tomorrow. For right now, I need sleep.”
There is no shame in taking care of yourself.