All relationships begin with one’s relationship to the self. It is vital to have a deep relationship with yourself in order to be a partner, a parent, a co-worker or a leader in the community.
Here are six ways to deepen your relationship with yourself (and improve all your relationships):
1. Respect The way we treat ourselves is reflected in the way we treat all of life. If we have respect for ourselves, then we respect Mother Earth and all creatures upon her sacred lands.
Respect for self is the basis for self-love, self-care and self-nurture. In today’s world it is seen at times as selfish to take time out to indulge in self-care. The truth is, it is selfish not to spend time self-nurturing. When you feel rejuvenated, energized and relaxed from this time, everyone benefits.
If we treat ourselves to an “intimate spa” by taking a long bath in sea salt to purify or a quiet, reflective walk along the beach, we are more apt to respect others taking the time out. Your “intimate spa” can be as creative as you are or as simple as sitting in silence.
2. Spirit The relationship we have with Spirit, the Creator, the Divine Cosmos or whatever words you give to it, determines our relationship with other beings we walk with.
Daily Devotion Diet
Developing a relationship with Spirit – with something greater than ourselves – is vital to having a well-balanced life. The big question that is always asked, how do you have a relationship with Spirit? It is different for everyone. It may be that you feel the warm breeze at the beach as you reflect upon the waves of the ocean or as you stand looking up at a tall redwood in wonder. Perhaps it is found in listening to music as the sound vibrations often connect us with one another. Discovering your own unique way of developing a relationship with spirit will bring you harmony and peace into your life. Find a D.D.D. that you can do for 5 minutes each day.
3. Honesty Being able to see ourselves honestly allows us to interact with integrity with anyone we encounter. It removes the mask of illusions we all pick up on our journey.
It is imperative that each be honest with self and with interactions with others. For many it is difficult to understand when life seems to be in shades of black, white and gray how there is a defined right and wrong within the warrior energy. It comes not from what is truth, but rather from what is your truth.
Write your story. Spend five minutes a day writing your honest truths in a journal. Be it the truth of emotions that could not be spoken, or the truth of why you made a decision. The habit of writing truths down will help you identify all your self-truths.
4. Responsibility By pausing to reflect upon ourselves, we can begin to take responsibility for our actions and their consequences and create the life we desire to live.
The Honor Code
There is only one judge that matters in responsibility – your own inner judge. Your decisions, how you make those decisions and how you carry out your decisions are a reflection of both your knowing of responsibility and the honor you carry in completing your responsibilities. Your actions must be done with sincerity. Sincerity does not have to make promises because your honor code is such that you walk your talk. With each choice made, pause to reflect upon the impact of your actions and ask yourself, does this choice resonate with my truths?
5. Cooperation When we see ourselves in an honest manner, knowing both our shadows and our light, we can work with others to co-create the world in a kind and compassionate way and leaving competition aside. Cooperation allows us to understand that a great gift comes from working in concert with others.
Know your own strengths and weaknesses
Cooperation begins within; cooperation between the strengths and weaknesses that are within each person. Knowing our own strengths and weaknesses allows us to see not only the weaknesses in others, but where their strengths fill the weaknesses within our self. Take five minutes and see who in your life today has a strength that matches your weakness. Can you see how you may cooperate to complete a project?
6. Compassion When we learn our own shadows, we begin to have compassion for others who are not yet able to see their shadows. We can be gentle and loving towards them when they seem to offend or hurt us (including ourselves).
The basis for compassion is to have loving thoughts for all, even those whose actions have hurt. Remember, those whose hearts are cold and hardened are being wounded by their own coldness most of all. Having self-compassion requires that you treat yourself the same as you would treat another having suffering of any kind. No “stiff upper lip I can handle it” mentality. Rather, than judging yourself harshly for your weakness and shadows, you are kind to yourself, understanding of self, and remind yourself that no one is perfect. When you remember to honor and accept all your humanness, you will be practicing self-compassion.
Whenever you find yourself judging a thought or action, remind yourself “I am compassionate to all, including myself”. This is not an excuse to continue actions which are not in alignment with your truths (remember you are being “self-honest” here), but rather being self-compassionate in knowing you make mistakes and are fallible.
Developing a relationship with the self that is deeply moving and spiritual will improve your relationship with everyone you encounter.