Relationships! Oh boy! Some are beautiful. Some are painful. All are complicated.
Think about the relationships in your life. They all have an impact on us. Any relationship can impact our focus, our mood, our actions, our behaviors and our feelings. Most of us experience positive initial relationships in our lives through our parents, siblings and family. We immediately trust and know we are cared for. All of our needs are met. If they aren’t, we fuss and someone figures out what we need. We trust unconditionally. This past week a member of my team brought their 5 week old son into the office so we could meet him. His first question to me was whether I wanted to hold him. Of course! Who doesn’t love the feeling of a newborn swaddled in your arms? The baby didn’t question that he was being handed off to a stranger. He trusted his parents and me.
We build relationships throughout our lives. We create friendships, some last and are good for our soul and some die a death that can be filled with lessons and learnings. We build relationships with colleagues at work some last through multiple jobs and roles and companies, and some you are happy to never cross paths with again. If we are really lucky in our life we find partners and build strong loving lifetime relationships. Again complicated. We build an intimacy with some and trust completely only to have that trust tested over and over. We yearn for intimacy with so e who we think we can build that lifetime relationship with only to find that they do not feel the same way. Again complicated. How many books and movies are about unrequited love? some of us fall in love with the idea of that trusting relationship only to find that we are less in love with the person and more in love with the idea of love.
None of these relationships though are more complicated than the one we have with ourselves. There was once a television show called Herman’s Head. In this show Herman’s emotions were displayed by people in his head who talked to each other and to Herman. It highlighted the relationship Herman had with himself. I very often feel like I have those discussions going on in my head. The conversations that go on in my head about me influence my actions and more importantly influence how I feel about me. Over many years I berated myself. My relationship with me was not kind and loving it was judgmental and mean. I would berate myself more than I would ever berate another person. I have criticized every mistake, every action that I deem as less than perfect. I didn’t trust myself, my gut. I assumed it was wrong. I have spent decades beating myself up for not being perfect. Thus not being good enough and knowing my worth.
I let others then validate that I wasn’t perfect that it wasn’t valuable. My ex-husband never helped me build that self trust and self worth, he helped me push myself down. Not being a champion and helping me see the good in me, he would push all those buttons that would validate that I wasn’t good enough, valuable. That continued to erode the relationship I had with myself.
I have spent the better part of three years focused on rebuilding the relationship with me. I have worked hard to create a healthy relationship with myself. I focus on all of those affirmations I have shared and recently added 2 more. “Trust my intuition” and ” know my value and worth” have been added to my repertoire of internal talk. I am focused on realizing my worth. I have gained more confidence in myself as I build this healthier relationship with me. That is translating into backing away from some relationships as I realize they have taken advantage of a weaker me. It is causing me to spend more time alone, getting to know me, like me and trust me. I now want to be around more positivity and people who are my champion. I want to build others up while I build myself up. I will not beat myself up anymore, I will treat me with the kindness I offer to others. I am worth it, so are you!