The most important and intimate relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. It is possible to have a self-relationship that is marked by love, compassion, appreciation and patience. The best investment you can make in creating a wonderful life is working through whatever the issues are that have prevented you from having this kind of relationship in the past and practicing treating yourself well now and in the future.
Have you ever longed for a strong and reliable advocate? For a steady source of wisdom and inspiration? For someone who would truly have your best interests at heart? Seek no further than your own self.
Let’s be honest about this. Unless you create a relationship with an enlightened saint, no one else will ever truly understand your situation. You will probably never receive consistent unconditional love from another. Everyone else is more concerned with themselves and their own challenges than they are with you. Others may love you and at times offer you care, compassion, kindness and guidance, but they will always be on the outside. If their own life becomes sufficiently challenging, they will no longer be available to support you.
The sooner you face this reality, the sooner you will be able to organize your life based on the truth. If you wait for someone else to rescue you or tell you what to do, you will become dependent on someone else and their agenda.
There is only one reliable source of wisdom, power and inspiration in your life and that is through yourself.
Connecting with your own source requires that you understand that you are a complicated being, composed of many different parts. I liken this to a soccer team, where the ball represents what you do, and where the team functions best if all the players agree on the rules and the goals of the game. The team captain or coach keeps the players working together and makes sure that everyone is treated with respect.
Ideally, the inner coach is the manifestation of your wisest and best, your “higher self”.
You may have encountered the idea of “connecting to your highe
r self” in the past. In contrast, I encourage you to identify with your higher self – recognize that you are that, do not just connect with it.
Most people, when they feel emotional – particularly angry, sad or scared – identify with the part of themselves that is feeling this way. This dooms them to either managing the problem from that upset place or hoping that another person will help them.
An alternative is to remain firmly identified with your wisest and best, and from that position to offer comfort, perspective and wisdom to your more emotional and vulnerable parts. Doing this requires practice.
Practice remaining identified with your highest understanding of the nature of the universe in the face of difficulties and emotional distress. This is a common goal in spiritual practice – to remain centered and peaceful, to maintain the correct view, to have faith. But what does one do to make this come about?
Using the soccer team metaphor, when upsetting things happen, the upset team member tries to steal the ball and pursue his own agenda. He forgets the rules and goal of the game and forgets his team members and his coach. In that moment, he is a team of one. When a person in this condition reflects, and asks, “Who am I?” The answer is, “This upset team member”. Instead we want the answer to that question to be, “My higher self managing and soothing this upset team member.”
In this situation, don’t be like most people and either get lost identifying with the upset or use distraction and denial to not feel. Instead, act deliberately in a self-soothing way (with intentionally soothing internal dialog and images, and calming emotions and sensations). It might feel odd or be difficult, but no one starts out being any
good at this. Some people start practicing young, but no matter when you start, practice builds the skill of self-soothing and being your own best friend.
Your relationship with yourself is the only relationship you can count on to be with you to the grave. It is possible to identify with your higher self and to have a relationship from that space with the troubled human that you are channeling through. Those who have the most effective and satisfying lives pay attention to improving this relationship and maintaining their identification with their highest and best no matter what happens.
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And now, put your hand on your heart area. Feel the warmth of your hand on your chest, and the warmth of your chest on your hand. Acknowledge whatever you are thinking and feeling and whatever is going on in your life. Validate yourself; “It makes sense that you are feeling the way that you are”. Deliberately give yourself some compassion and acceptance. Breathe that in to your heart and carry it with you through the rest of your day!