Valentine’s Day celebrations often open up a Pandora's box for many. As the celebrations get picture-perfect for some, others are left feeling cloaked in misery. From photographs in glossy magazines to #instaperfect profiles, these are the lives of those who are having it all.
We are sharing some personal thoughts offered by an individual who joined our program to establish the best relationship with self. They hope to inspire more people to define their own path. (Name withheld on request.)
Many of us feel disconnected at this time of the year. For a major chunk of my life, I’ve struggled to build relations around me, which subsequently affected my decisions. As I watched my partners fading into the oblivion one-by-one at different phases of life, I had but one doubt.
Where am I headed to? Where am I going?
Not everyone you love, is going to love you back. It’s important to love yourself first.
The last couple of years have witnessed a massive change. I’ve realized you need to be a great friend to yourself first to bring solace in life. Yes, I had indeed read about self-love. But, it was easier said than done!
Now, that I have realized inner peace, and toned down my mindless chatter where the critical voices kept tearing me down, I’d like to share techniques that worked for me.
I realized if it’s worked for me, it will work for you, too!
5 Ways to Build the Best Relationship with Self
You first need to focus on your innermost self. I’ll tell you how.
1. Learn to pay attention to your thoughts. Often, our thoughts spin out of control. It can occur during rejection of love, or a break-up, a marriage gone wrong. Your internal thoughts contribute to a lot of what constitutes you, and further dictate your decisions. A mind that constantly dislikes and disapproves the self is doing more harm than relations that have gone awry. I experienced discomfort, tightness in the body, and more as the anxiety around Valentine’s Day increased. Over time, I realized I can indeed work on my subconscious mind to internally connect with myself better. Sentences like, “Ok, you failed right now, but you can definitely improve further,” are better than, “You’re a failure, you’re no good.” Get the difference?
2. Ever enjoyed solitude? Try it. Solitude was a scary space for me. A place where my inner demons would haunt me. I thought it was solitude that reminded me of my failed relationships amidst all the bright pink hearts of Valentine’s Day. One fine day, I challenged myself. I explored locations closer to my home and found there was indeed peace in silence. All it takes is 10 minutes of your morning or night time to sit in solitude, be present in the moment, and empty your thoughts of the past. In a constantly connected world, we are so disconnected from the self. I found this silence was calming and I could connect better to understand my life goals, aspirations, and what I needed in a partner.
3. Anxiety and stress around Valentine’s Day is common. Remember, you are not alone. Treat this as a way to expand your ideas about the emotion called love. Love is a beautiful feeling, and you need to analyze how deep your love is for your own true self.
What is love? It means different things to different people. What matters is how loving you are to yourself.
Do you treat yourself as kindly as you would to a friend who is experiencing sadness? Do you spend time doing things you love? Or, are you so blinded with the notion of ‘having a partner’ because ‘everyone has one’? Love can be experienced in multiple ways. You can express love for your family, friends, and pets. Love can be an affection for yourself or for the things you love to do. The problem is, everybody wants to be loved without understanding their own self first. The moment you start trusting and loving yourself and own all decisions, the doors automatically open to receive more love in abundance, bringing a shift in your perspective.
4. As you start establishing a better connect with yourself, learn to build on your life goals. “What do I aspire to be?,” “What is it that I seek?” These questions are poignant. Compare them to, “Why am I single this Valentine’s Day?” You’ll surely notice the difference. Your goals can range from personal to professional. “Is my relationship nourishing me?” “How do I define success?” These and many other questions will build a deeper connection with yourself. I developed the foresight to form meaningful goals that act as a guide to improve my decision-making skills, the energies I create, and the people I attract.
5. A thought to ponder - if I couldn’t see myself in a better light, why would anyone else? Make it a practice to appreciate yourself. How often do you look into the mirror and love the image staring back at you? I, for once, used to experience contempt. With time, I developed a practice of acknowledging my own image and the elements that make my body and inner soul beautiful. I started with a simple practice of paying a compliment to myself. After years of being alone, it was here I replaced my discouraging views of self to a healthier opinion of me.
Do you want to be the best version of yourself? Would you love to have a support who will partner with you on this journey? Write to Life Leadership Coach, Dr. Paras, to receive valuable supervision and build the life you’ll love. Know techniques to rediscover yourself and learn the importance of self-love while creating a positive aura everywhere you go.