The most important relationship of all...

“The most adventurous journey to embark on; is the journey to yourself, the most exciting thing to discover; is who you really are, the most treasured pieces that you can find; are all the pieces of you, the most special portrait you can recognize; is the portrait of your soul.” ― C. JoyBell C.

It is Valentines Day tomorrow and Valentines Day often gets people thinking about their relationships. Are they in a fulfilling and happy marriage, do they feel that their relationship needs some spicing up... or if they are single, whether they want to be, or feel they “should be” in a relationship. There is all this focus on marriages, boyfriends, girlfriends..even exes... and yet not many people stop and think about the most important relationship in their life - the relationship that they have with themselves.

In my experience of giving therapy to many people, I find that so many people are kind and caring to others, yet when it comes to themselves - they speak to themselves incredibly negatively all day, they don’t make any time to prioritise themselves and their needs, they feel guilty asking for things that they want... and the list goes on. Basically we are all pretty bad at prioritising the relationship that we have with ourselves. Do you ever find that you are telling yourself “you are too fat”, “you are not good enough”, “you are not smart enough”, “nobody likes you”?... You would probably never think of saying these things to a partner or friend and yet you are treating yourself this way. Do you ever put off doing what you really want to do because you feel you need to do things for others?... again by neglecting yourself, you are probably not feeling great day-to-day.

It is not selfish to focus on your relationship with yourself. Once you love and appreciate yourself, you are in a much better position to be kind, caring, compassionate and happy when you are around those you love. You are much more likely to attract positive and healthy relationships into your life when you love yourself and are confident too. How can we expect someone else to love us and treat us well if we are not treating ourselves well? Through how we treat ourselves, we set the bar for how others will then treat us too.

So this Valentines Day, yes do something nice for your loved one, but also ask yourself:

1. Can I make sure that I am speaking to myself compassionately? Those words going around in my head - let me make sure that if I would not say them out aloud to someone else, that I will not say them to myself.

2. Can I make more time for my needs, hobbies and interests? Have I neglected what I love to do because I am trying so hard to do things for other people? What time can I carve out in the week to make sure I can still do those things that bring me joy.

3. Can I start prioritising relaxation? What activities do I find relaxing and am I doing enough just to switch off