I'd like to start this blog with a little story....
Once upon a time there was a woman who went through a trauma. She was in her mid 30's and a mum of two under two. She thought life had been pretty fair to her until this point in time...but after this trauma, she began having difficulty relating to other people like she once did.
All her important relationships began to suffer and she couldn't understand why, in this time of great need, the people she loved couldn't be there for her like she wanted them to. She began to dislike being around her loved ones. She would find excuses to not contact them. Even her most cherished relationship of all, the one she had with her husband, began to feel very distant and she had forgotten what it was like to properly be IN this relationship. She felt betrayed by all of them and hurt so much inside.
She was also angry, terribly angry at them all. The hurt and anger were making her withdraw from the world and she knew she needed to fix things. But which relationship to start with? Would she work on one at a time? She didn't have time to work through all her relationships and began to feel quite helpless....
Finally she decided to talk to someone about it all.
And so she discovered that she was really angry at herself. She felt she didn't handle the trauma very well. She was mad that it had happened in the first place and mad that she didn't have the tools to cope properly. She was full of self doubt and self loathing probably for the first time in her life.
She began to see that she was being terribly hard on herself. She began to spend time with herself and got to know herself all over again. She forgave herself and then even began to enjoy her own company again. This wasn't easy mind you! It took a lot of work and lot of talking and a lot of self care and self reflection.
Finally she felt ready to work on her other relationships. Gosh....which relationship should she try and repair first? The one with her husband? Mum? Sister? Dad? Her friends? Where should she start? She thought she best start with who she was angriest at, who she felt most hurt by....so she started to think on this. But then a very strange thing occurred to her...she wasn't angry at anyone any more! She didn't feel hurt by anyone either...these feelings had simply vanished.
As soon as she realised that it was the relationship with herself determining all her other relationships, she knew she just wanted to connect to everyone again. She had missed them so! Everyone she loved was a reflection of who she was and now she just wanted to be with them again and open up to the connections again.
She couldn't wait to tell them all she had learned! The End.
But it's not the end of course. It never does end. But life sure gets easier when we know that it's the relationship we have with ourselves that determines all our other relationships. It's also the most accessible relationship we have! When are you not with yourself to put in the work?! ;) It's also the hardest and most complex relationship we will ever have...but also the one that is most worthy of our time and energy.
I'm not saying all the relationships you have with others will be magically fixed if you start loving yourself again. I say 'again' because we are born with a great self love and it's only what we go through in our lives that might strip some or all of that love away. But maybe there is a relationship in your life that is actually quite toxic for you and it will only be once you have repaired the bridges with yourself that you will have the awareness and strength to leave that relationship behind you. Not all relationships are forever and some are actually just there to teach you something important before you move on.
So nowadays, as soon as I start having an issue with someone really important to me, I turn inwards and check on what is going on with me. I have learnt this extremely valuable lesson only in the last 5 years because yes, that lady in the story was me.
The beauty of learning this lesson is that it creates so much more happiness and contentment in my life. I still get pissed off with the people I love, I still withdraw when I need to...but I don't put it on them anymore. I know it's about me and my relationship to that person and eventually all I feel is gratitude that I have so many wonderful teachers in my life. They are always ready to hold up a mirror for me ;)
Angry at your partner for not showing you more affection? Start texting them some 'I care' or 'I love you' texts or leave a note for them somewhere in the house. Go up and give them a big hug, cook their favourite dinner or just tell them how much they mean to you.
Upset at your friend for not getting in touch with you and seeing how you're doing? Check on them!
Cross with your sibling because of something they said about a billion years ago? Remember you came from the same childhood and they may have the same stuff to work on as you do.
Annoyed at your child* for highlighting and reflecting back at you all the things that irk you about yourself or your partner? Try and remember what it was like for you going through things at that age and help them from that place of understanding. *I have a harder time parenting my daughter than I do my son because basically she is just a mini me (in all ways possible) and I've been known to complain how hard it is to parent myself! ;)
And just for your information...the closer you are to someone or the more important the relationship is...the more benefits you get from the lessons they have for you.
I know it's just so cliche to say - love yourself first...but it is just so true. And it's a life long journey to be able to do this. Life will keep throwing more lessons at you but as long as you keep on working with the relationship you have with yourself, the better you will get through anything. Because you will learn how to be your own best friend and you will always have yourself to help you through it.
Here are some of my favourite quotes about this very important relationship with self (written by people who can say what I'm trying to say in just one sentence! lol!)
“Find the love you seek, by first finding the love within yourself. Learn to rest in that place within you that is your true home.” ~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” ~Buddha
“Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.” ~ Wilfred Peterson
"I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we will ever do" ~ Brene Brown
"Want to find the love of your life? Look in the mirror" ~ Byron Katie
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it" - Rumi
Ok, so now you might be thinking....how does telling me that it's the relationship with myself that makes all the difference to my other relationships and throwing a bunch of self love quotes at me actually help me?
Well I think self awareness of this is an extremely important first step. I would have loved to have had this pointed out to me earlier than it was...but yes there is often a lot of work to do after we gain this awareness. And this is what prompted me to put together a Relationship Pack!
This pack contains:
1 x Self Love blend which helps to enhance self confidence, self esteem and you guessed it self love!
1 x Let it Go blend which helps shift and safely release any underlying feelings of anger, resentment, jealousy, confusion and frustration. A blend that can really increase your bond with loved ones.
1 x Manifest blend which helps increase positive outlook and trust, a wonderful blend to decrease any negative thought patterns that may have you stuck with certain things.
1 x Note To Self affirmation card deck to help you with daily moments of self care. These beautiful cards will help to remind you to work on your most important relationship and keep that self care and self love maintained on a daily basis.
I recommend taking the Self Love blend and Let it Go blend twice daily and the Manifest blend on an 'as needed' basis whenever you notice any negative thoughts or negative self talk arise. And make sure you are pulling a card from the Note to Self deck every day to build a daily self care practice which will nurture this amazing relationship you have with yourself.
I also recommend this pack for tweens and teens as well as I believe you can never be too young to start working on this very precious relationship with self. It's something we may have not been taught ourselves growing up and as it does affect all the other relationships in our lives, I really think self love and self care are things we should be teaching our children daily. But what better way to teach them than to show them ourselves!
If you are needing further help working through your relationships, I highly recommend seeking out a therapist and talking through things. It might take a while to find the right fit or the right type of therapist but when you really connect with someone who wants to take that path of self realisation with you, then so much can be achieved! Never be afraid to ask for more help. You are so worth it.
And if wanting to learn more about what Flower Essences are and how they can help you, please read this link HERE.
Yours in Health (and self love),