I’m going to be honest, I never really got the whole idea of “having a relationship with yourself”. Like, what do you mean? I’m living, breathing, eating in my body; I think that would constitute as a relationship. I can always go to the gym more, but overall, I’m good. Right? That’s the questions I found myself asking every time I would read a social media post about someone being fed up with relationships and deciding that now, conveniently after a break-up or a mishap, they needed to focus on themselves. I thought it was all quite cliché and almost a cry for attention. It just didn’t make much sense to me, especially if this person didn’t have some sort of mental illness or heavy baggage. That’s exactly what I thought…now here is what I think now:
I was wrong. I was very wrong. I didn’t really understand the idea of working on the relationship with myself until everything around me started to get quiet and I was the only person there to fill a void. It’s not to say that I didn’t have friends or family around to be there for me, I simply realized that the energy that I put into learning and developing relationships with others was not the same energy I put into myself mentally, emotionally and physically. I found myself, ironically, repeating the phrase “I’m focusing on myself” after a break up, but not really knowing what that meant. At first I looked at this statement as a reason not to date, talk or entertain anyone. Now that I look back on it, the idea of only focusing on yourself because of another person sounds quite unfortunate…
However, after a while of basically throwing myself into work and everything else but the solitude of my room and my own thoughts, I decided to really take the chance to get to know myself. I started by asking myself the questions that I would otherwise deem to deep and dismiss. Sometimes I wouldn’t have the answers, but working through them mentally helped me view myself in another light. I was figuring myself out piece by piece. Instead of waiting for banter with another human being, I became my own muse and dove into my own thoughts. Questions like, “What makes you happy?”, “Why don’t you like the darkness?”, “Why do you watch cartoons more than dramas?”, slowly began to flood my mind as time passed. Some days I would take the time to think through the answers and other days I would take a break. It began to become a habitat of me trying to answer my own questions.
Through this deliberate process, I find it a lot easier to access happiness. I understand what makes me laugh, sad, frustrated, etc. I look at myself and see what I like, dislike and ignore. I decide what to work on and prioritize my energy. Somedays I may phone-a-friend and talk it out with them, but more than ever I almost always consider myself reference number one. Please note the need for me to have a relationship with myself, does not devalue the importance and necessity of my relationships with friends and family. I have just found the relationship with myself is just as, if not more, important. It’s made all of my relationships stronger because I know what I bring to the table, what I expect from others and how I handle certain situations.
Some days are better than others, but each day is considered a success because I’ve either learned something new, achieved a new goal or took the best self-care nap ever.
Learning, loving and accepting myself is all work….and I’m working on it. I hope you’ll work on your journey too.
ART simply Undone.