Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have. - Robert Holden
Healthy relationships are built on trust and respect. Our closest relationships have the opportunity to be built on love as well. And what a beautiful thing it is when we get to experience all three.
In order to have deep and healthy relationships with others, you must first develop this kind of relationship with yourself. When you trust, respect, and love yourself, this becomes the bar for every other relationship in your life. Let’s take a closer look at how building a relationship with yourself helps you build relationships with others.
Self-Trust Allows Deeper Connection with Others
Learn to listen to your inner guide (or gut or heart or instinct, as you will), whatever it is that you feel whispering you forward. We are met with decisions every day that require us to look within, but it takes practice to learn to trust that this inner voice will guide you well.
When taken into relationships, this trusted inner guide will help steer you toward other trustworthy people. When you know what trust looks like in yourself, you can see it in others. And trust is the foundation that frees us to be honest and open in our relationships so we can be known in a deeper, more meaningful way.
Self-Respect Allows You to Set Boundaries for Healthy Relationships
We could talk all day about boundaries, but ultimately the ability to set healthy boundaries in relationships comes by seeing oneself as worthy of respect. Respecting yourself looks like understanding your values and making choices that reflect those values. For example, valuing eight hours of sleep might mean, setting and protecting a nighttime routine that gets you in bed by a certain time each night.
When you are willing to set boundaries in your own relationship with yourself, you become confident in setting boundaries that demand others respect your values as well. The practice of setting your own healthy boundaries and respecting them makes it all the easier to set expectations in relationships and also to honor other’s values.
Self-Love Allows You to Accept and Give Love
The deepest relationship you have should be with the person you spend the most time with … you. Love for others is an outpouring of what’s in our hearts. We cannot give what we don’t possess. Self-love is loving yourself for all that you are, for what you have walked through, for the mistakes you’ve made, for the gifts you offer to this world. It’s seeing the whole of who you are--imperfect, scarred, beautifully unique--and embracing it all, loving you for you. When you’ve made peace with who you are, and can speak to yourself with kindness and can set expectations for yourself that are gentle, you can accept this kind of love from others.
Take time to get to know yourself, learn what you value in relationships and in life, and what you need in order to feel loved, respected, and safe. Then give yourself the gift of self-companion and allow that to guide you into healthy relationship with others.
Grace and Peace,