I’m doing something a lot different… I am going to stay focused and do a series called, “12 Relationship Truths”. I have been really stuck on relationships. I write about other stuff but this subject just seems to keep coming back to me. So, that along with the inspiration from another article this series has been birthed.
You have to love yourself first…
You’ve heard the song, “Love Isn’t Love (Til You Give It Away)”. The problem with that is how can you give something away that you have trouble possessing or you don’t really have to give. You see, I’ve learned over the years that one of the main problems that our society faces is a lack of love. But, before YOU start… In this letter, I’m not talking about love between or for people. I’m talking about the internal love that we should have for ourselves. This entire letter is introspective.
Doctors have said that to be physically and psychologically healthy then our ‘core needs’ have to be fulfilled. Well, what are the ‘core needs’? There are nine. I’ll just list them but seriously, think about this as you read the list… How do I measure up? What core needs am I lacking?
- The need to give and receive attention
- The need to look after your body.
- The need for meaning, purpose and goals.
- The need for a connection to something greater than ourselves
- The need for creativity and stimulation
- The need for intimacy and connection to others.
- The need for a sense of control
- The need for a sense of status and recognition from others.
- The need for a sense of safety and security.
This list may seem simple but the crazy thing about it is that missing even ONE ITEM can have major ramifications on our ENTIRE well-being.
Now that I’ve exposed the issue, how do we go about addressing it and bettering ourselves? By no means, is this one letter going to be the end all, be all for you. But, it is a process that we ALL have to pursue for our own betterment, healing and well-being.
The Bible says to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. Well, the strange thing about that is when we treat people with love, kindness and respect… we feel better about ourselves because we did the right thing. It is easy to “ignorant” and go off on people but is that the ‘right’ thing to do. Quick example… I went to a restaurant with my family. After eating about half of my sub, I found a long blonde hair in the sandwich. Thankfully, I SAW it in the sandwich and didn’t pull it out of my mouth!!! I didn’t say a word to anyone at the table. But, I calmly took the sandwich to the manager and he readily replaced the sandwich and gave me coupons for 2 more free subs!! Unfortunately, these things happen from time to time but would I have ended up with 3 subs if I would’ve gone crazy? Probably not…
We need to find ways to express ourselves through personal journals, diaries and short stories. Personally, I’ve gotten to a place in my life where I don’t mind sharing very intimate thoughts and feelings. So, my expressions are public. Not everyone can handle your thoughts being made public, including yourself. So, keep something personal where you can get the ‘stuff’ out of your system and off of you without contaminating your friends…
Our history has created the person that we see today. But, our determination to overcome will create the person that we’re destined to be. None of us have always made the right decisions all of the time. We need to learn to forgive ourselves of our mistakes and truly let go of the past. One of the most powerful ways to do this is simply going to the mirror, looking yourself in the eye and say, “I forgive you for ______”. And, don’t use your internal voice either. Say it out loud until you feel the forgiveness begin to overtake you!!
One of the coolest tools at our disposal is the illustrious Sticky-Note!!! Normally, we use them for writing down a quick phone number or grocery list. But, try this… strategical post notes of encouragement to yourself!! Examples like: “I am beautiful”, “I love my wonderful self”, “I am an overcomer”, “I am blessed to be a blessing”, “I am en route to my next miracle”… Something that I recently learned is that whenever we start a statement with “I am”, we are invoking the Divine Power of God into what ever we are saying because God is the I am!!!!
Rediscover who you are!!! We have participated in the Masquerade soo long that we actually believe we are who we ‘acting’ like. Take off the masks!!!! I’m tired of wearing masks depending on the situation… I HAD a business face. I HAD a church face. I HAD a musician face. I HAD this face, I HAD that face, I HAD the other face… I AM JACKIE and knowing who I am makes me special (first to me, then to others)…
Think about what you really want others to be like in our various relationships. Now, here’s the tough part and be honest… Do those characteristics apply to you? How can we expect someone else to be to us what we aren’t to ourselves? Birds of a feather…
Practice, practice, practice… Practice receiving love. We are soo fake sometimes that it’s just stupid. We shun what we need by saying, “I’m good”, “I’m alright” or “I’m a giver”. Guess what? Givers need to get too! Practice receiving love. Hug yourself sometimes. Practice saying NO!!! Know when you’re overwhelmed and stop trying to please everybody. Stop comparing yourself to others… You’re not them…. You’re YOU!!!! Be the BEST YOU that YOU can BE!!!!
Finally, for now, stop trying to be perfect. We are our own worst critics. There was one person who was perfect but he was made imperfect to bear our sins… As long as you are doing your best, then what more is there? I am a great cook, not bragging but its true. I am a great cook but, there was a time that I would literally throw away entire meals because they weren’t ‘perfect’. My wife has been upset more that a few times because of that. Keep this in mind, “Perfection is a process not a destination.”
I pray that something within this letter has helped you. Please share it and this series with your family, friends, loved ones and just those you want to help or encourage…
I love you ALL!!!
12 Relationship Truth I Wish I Knew 12 Years Ago – http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/10/08/12-relationship-truths-i-wish-i-knew/
Love Isn’t Love – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwZjz_WEpaM
Top Ten Facts about Low Self Esteem – http://www.self-confidence.co.uk/articles/top-ten-facts-about-low-self-esteem/
How to Love Yourself: 24 step – http://www.wikihow.com/Love-Yourself