Good Company

How would you feel if you hung out with someone who whispered these comments into your ear all day:

  • You're not good enough.
  • You're screwing up your kids.
  • You don't make enough money.
  • You'll never have what you want.
  • Who are you to think you can have a fabulous life?
  • You're not getting enough done.
  • What would everyone think?
  • You're ugly, lazy, old, fat...

I am guessing you'd feel discouraged, sad, stuck, unmotivated. Here's the question: Is this the way you talk to yourself? Isn't it amazing that we can be such bad company to ourselves?

Wouldn't it be great to hang out with someone who remembers all of your accomplishments, who lists everything she loves about you, who shows compassion for your struggles?

The other day, a client was sharing her desire for a long term relationship. When I asked how it would feel to have such a relationship, she imagined feeling accepted, nurtured, taken care of. Then I asked the big question: Do you accept, nurture, and take care of yourself?

Do you ever complain that your spouse doesn't give you enough attention? That your kids need to show you more respect? That people, in general, need to show you more kindness? Here's what I have learned from coaching instructor extraordinaire Brooke Castillo: "You teach people how to treat you." If we are not showing love, respect, and kindness to ourselves, we are telling other people that we don't think we deserve it. Then what happens? Other people don't treat us with kindness, which (in our minds) further supports the belief that we don't deserve it. It's a vicious cycle. On top of that, when we look to other people to fill us with love, our neediness actually drives them away.

So the next time you find yourself thinking, "My husband needs to take care of me," flip it around to yourself: "I need to take care of me."

What happens when we are kind to ourselves? When we love ourselves without needing others to fill us up? We end up attracting bunches of love into our lives. We also end up having more energy to love all of those people.

Isn't it funny how life works?

My primary relationship is with myself- all others are mirrors of it. As I learn to love myself, I automatically receive the love and appreciation that I desire from others. If I am commited to myself and to living my truth, I will attract others with equal commitment. My willingness to be intimate with my own deep feelings creates the space for intimacy with another. -Shakti Gawain