The most important person in the world to whom you should be loyal and faithful to is yourself. Everybody else will leave you at one point or another in this life. You are the only person who can’t ever leave you until you die. So you better have a great relationship and understanding with yourself right at the start if you can. You definitely need to understand yourself first. Unfortunately, most people don’t really know themselves, and have not taken the time necessary to reflect on their core priorities, desires, beliefs, and values.
First, as an infant and a young child, we don’t even have the notion of self. We are just being ourselves which is great. Slow but surely, we start to understand the notion of self and being selfish with others. For example, we want things, food and toys for ourselves. We start to grab things from other children, and we start to discriminate who we want to let into our inner play circle. Gradually at school, we start to choose our own friends and reject others. As a youngster and teenager, you form your self-esteem mostly from external factors,
from your environment, parents, teachers and friends. If you were bullied at school like some were, you most likely had a low self-esteem of yourself. Your relationship with yourself would tend to be negative and self critical. On the other hand, if you were lucky to have a loving family, supportive siblings and friends, you develop a healthy self-esteem and a positive outlook of life. Then your relationship will yourself tends to be healthy and wholesome.
As young adults, most people understand the importance of developing a healthy relationship with the self. Unfortunately only very few actually consciously put the necessary effort in cultivating and nurturing such a relationship. The excuses are that you are too busy doing more important things like having an education, earning a living and dating. You forget the most important person in this world, namely you. So the relationship with one’s self is taken for granted and there is a false assumption that you treat yourself well by default.
In actual fact, most people tend to have a somewhat negative relationship with themselves. You tend to be critical of yourself through your thoughts and self talks. For example, you don’t like the way you look, you don’t like your job, you don’t like your weight, and you are dissatisfied because you aren’t happy and rich. Some people are their worst critics. They are never happy with who they are, what they do and where they are in life. The root of their misery and lack of contentment are their attitude towards life and their low self-esteem. Of course, their relationships with themselves are very poor and negative.
Spend time cultivating and nurturing your relationship with yourself. It is certainly one of the most important things you can do in order to live a meaningful and fulfilled life. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself in your mind. Learn to talk to yourself as a friend would. Develop a positive mindset and a hopeful outlook to life. A positive and hopeful mindset can alter your thoughts and can definitely change your relationship with self for the better. Be aware of the power of your mind. You attract to your mind the predominant thoughts that you are holding in your awareness. So choose your thoughts carefully, as your current thoughts are creating your future life. One way to master your mind is to learn to quiet your mind through meditation.
Nothing comes into your experience and existence unless you summon it through persistent thoughts. Your thoughts are the primary cause of everything. Everything else you see and experience in this world is effect, and that includes your feelings. Imagine that you are given some very bad news, most likely you will feel very sad and depressed. Your feelings are therefore an immediate signal for you to know what you are thinking. You are the only one who knows how you are feeling at any time.
Believe in yourself and be confident that you will succeed in life by reaching your goals. Your ultimate goal is to learn to become your best friend. Imagine spending the every moment of the rest of your life being with your best friend. What a wonderful life it would be!
Keep your thoughts positive, they become your words.
Keep your words positive, they become your behaviour.
Keep your behaviour positive, they become your habits.
Keep your habits positive, they become your values.
Keep your values positive, they become your destiny.
- Old Chinese proverb.
An excerpt from my book: In pursuit of relationships.