Relationships, whether of a romantic or platonic nature, can be simple and easy going, but sometimes, they’re the complete opposite. For any relationship to function really well, whether it be between family members, friends, or lovers, each person’s character- their feelings, attitude, wants, needs- has to be taken into consideration. A relationship formed on the basis of genuineness and complete acceptance can be one of the most beautiful and valuable things on this earth. Many of us spend so much of our lifetime learning, nurturing and investing in these relationships, but I wonder….how much are we all investing in the relationship we have with ourselves?

We’ve probably all heard the saying “self love is the best kind of love”..and it’s so true. Think about it, the only person who’s going to be there with you 24/7, every second of every hour, until your last breath, is you. Imagine a lifetime of having to constantly be glued to someone you don’t love, who you can’t even stand to look at for a single minute. A nightmare. I believe that the most important and fulfilling relationship, which will in turn dictate the fate of all our other relationships, is the one we have with ourselves. Some of you reading this (especially Christians) may stop me right there to probably ask, ” what about the relationship you have with the creator/God?” Well, that to me, is a whole different topic on it’s own; but I will say that my spiritual/religious relationship is also a core focus in my life.

About three years ago, when I seriously began my self growth and awareness journey, I finally took it as my sole responsibility to shape and continuously develop the way wanted myself to be…the way wanted to see and feel about my individuality. I didn’t let or depend on what others (no matter how important they were in my life) had to say about me get in the way of the kind of relationship I wanted to develop with myself. A common mistake that I think many of us make, is to sometimes overvalue the opinions that others have about us, so much so that some of these opinions begin to greatly impact how we see and think about ourselves.

An example for me is the extent to which I used to allow the petty teases or unwanted comments about my weight affect my self image. Growing up in Jamaica, where the general population tends to greatly promote “fluffy” or “slim-thick” sizes, I’ve had my fair share of being called names such as “Maga”, “Skinny-minnie”, “Bones”, “Slimmaz”, you name it. I’m sure some of you guys can relate. Although I didn’t particularly see myself as unhealthily skinny (which I wasn’t) the constant name calling and teasing about my size, especially in high school, eventually led to me feeling very insecure about my weight. Some days I’d hear “look like yah put on likkle weight though”, and other days it would probably be ” how it look like yah tek off weight.. Yuh nuh have none fi lose.”  While this may seem like a very trivial thing to many, I had allowed all these unwanted comments to affect my confidence and self image for years throughout high school, which in turn affected the overall relationship I had with myself.

However, over these years of focusing on my personal growth, the more I continue to nurture all aspects of my individuality, and care less about what anyone thinks/says about me( appearance or personalty-wise) the healthier my relationship, not only with myself, but also others, has become. Although I’ve recently started a fitness/weight gain journey, this isn’t because of other’s opinions, but rather my own decision to improve my overall physique, which I’m now already in love with. My point is, while it’s sometimes difficult to block negativity or non-constructive criticism, we shouldn’t allow others to be the motive for wanting to change anything about who or how we are. Accept and love yourself fully, while working on the areas of your life that you feel requires improvement, not because anyone said it, but because you want it.

How often do you tell yourself “I love you’?  Have you done it out loud?  What do you do on a daily basis to treat yourself or make yourself feel good?  I’ve asked such questions to quite a few people, and found that some believe even just the idea of showering themselves with words of love and appreciation is a self conceited thing to do. While many may agree that this is true, I think it’s an absolute necessity.

One of the first things I do most mornings, is to consciously appreciate the gift of  being alive, and indulge in some “me time”. During this part of my morning I ensure that, even if I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, I boost my energy and overall mood by indulging in some self care and simply talking to myself. I do this before giving attention to anything or anyone else. Self conceited? No. I believe that the key to leading a good lifestyle, and to having good relationships with others starts from within.

I don’t think anyone who’s miserable with themselves, who doesn’t appreciate who they are, or take the time to look after their inner growth, can really have good interactions with others. Some persons hold the belief that they don’t have to consciously think about or focus on their self love, that it’s already naturally there; but I’ve personally experienced that by continuously being aware and developing the love and relationship I have with myself, everything (and I honestly mean, everything) has become so much better in my life.

Develop a secure relationship with yourself, and never allow anyone to jeopardize or break that. The moment you truly form a healthy and growing relationship with yourself, is the moment all other aspects of your life truly begin to fall into place.There’s absolutely no better feeling than looking in the mirror and being totally in love with the person staring back at you! 🙂

Leave a comment on a few things you love about yourself, and things you do the show yourself some love 🙂 Thanks for reading, and see you in the next post! <3