Healing Your Relationship With Yourself

Burne Jones, The Mirror of Venus
What do you tell yourself when you look into the mirror?

[buzzsprout episode=”43156″ player=”true”]

Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that my top two most popular pod casts were released three days apart: “Procrastination” and “If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?” I believe that both concepts reflect a society-wide betrayal of “self”.

You would think that we would honor our relationships to ourselves first. I’m talking about life affirming self-respect, rather than conceit or narcissism (both of which are actually indicative of wounds in the area of self-esteem). While many don’t realize the importance of honoring a relationship to “self”, the impact of neglecting that relationship is found everywhere.

[pullquote]We can say things to ourselves that would end the relationship with another person…[/pullquote]Whether you are conscious about your relationship with yourself or not, a relationship exists. Just like any other, our relationships with ourselves can be happy and difficult, playful and serious, gratifying and frustrating, boring and fascinating and all of the above sometimes at once. There are also miscommunications, breaches of trust, out-and-out lies and deceit. How do we wind up in challenging relationships with “the man (or the woman) in the mirror”?

In my line of work, I hear lots of negative self-talk from self-recriminations & judgments, impatience, curses, and a lack of compassion. Most of us, on occasion, say things to ourselves that would entirely alienate another person without a thought about how it affects ourself! When was the last time you called yourself, “stupid” or an “idiot”? Would you say that to anyone else as lightly as you say it to yourself? Not a chance, right? So, why do you say it to yourself?

[pullquote]By not honoring your commitments to yourself, you are feeding your negative self-talk[/pullquote]Most people agree that they “shouldn’t” say mean things to themselves, but it continues nonetheless. Why does it matter? Who’s going to complain? Well… you are! You complain by acting out against your own best interests; by ditching your own plans; by procrastinating; by not honoring your self-commitments; by sabotaging your relationships… How would you behave towards someone who demonstrated all of this to you? You wouldn’t hang around, would you? Is it any surprise then, that you don’t believe you anymore?

Much of your self-defeating behavior is motivated by your mean words and your disrespect. It’s a vicious circle. You berate yourself for something, act out because you’re mad at yourself, don’t take care of yourself, and then berate yourself some more… Ouch!

[pullquote]When you don’t find yourself lovable, you don’t expect others to love you… [/pullquote]This negative self-talk does harm to all of your relationships. When you mistreat yourself, you unconsciously communicate those negative self-feelings to the world. It shows up in your posture, in how you carry yourself, in your self-care, in how you meet people’s eyes, and in how you relate to them. When you don’t find yourself lovable, you don’t expect others to love you… and you question when someone does because you don’t believe you’re worth it.

How to start:

How do we heal this important relationship? It’s the same as healing a relationship with another: clarity in communication and goals, forgiveness, love, patience, understanding, loving kindness, honor, respect, trust and compassion, to name a few.

What to do? Do your best as often as you can and if it doesn’t work out exactly as you had hoped (because sometimes it won’t), have compassion and forgive yourself… you’re learning. You wouldn’t yell at a toddler every time they fell down would you? Then get out there and do your best again.

Just as compassion is the first step in healing the world, it’s the first step along the road to healing your relationship to your self… one person at a time… You

Always infinite possibilities… always your choice.

Photo: The Mirror of Venus by Sir Edward Burne-Jones (28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898)
Music (in pod cast): The Man in the Mirror, ©Copyright 1988, Michael Jackson



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Koresun says:

    A wise and insightful follow up to your last few blogs. Although this point of view is one I myself embrace, I am learning more about myself and what I believe by reading what you write. Keep these blogs coming!


    1. TrinityAvatar says:

      Thanks again, Kore! What tips would you be willing to share on how you show compassion to yourself? For myself, when I’m feeling stressed out, I’ll go for a run or a walk outside to clear my head and get me grounded to what’s really true in this moment.


  2. Laura says:

    Great stuff Christine, and very very important.  Well said, meaningful words.


    1. TrinityAvatar says:

      Thanks Laura!
      It’s so important that we show ourselves loving kindness. As often as I can, when things are not going as I would wish, I take a moment to acknowledge all that went well, in addition to what I would like to do differently next time.
      Would you be willing to share how you show compassion to yourself?


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