As humans, our relationships are key, we live in a world where we interact with people all the time, family, friends, partners, colleagues as well as less personal relationships and also online interactions with strangers.
Self-love requires that we have healthy relationships with ourself and others. Often when we have unhealthy relationships with others, it is mirroring to us, something in us to heal. The two key areas to thing about, when looking at your relationships, are: “do I need to work on my boundaries?” And “Am I judging someone or something?” Over the next few days I will post about each of the 5 areas, with helpful tips.
With Love from me to you,
how you love yourself is how you teach others to love you”
― Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
Here are some ideas to help you grow in self-love in regard to better relationships. Today’s tips are all about surrounding yourself with positive people.
There are loads of great supportive Facebook groups, some of my favourites are the Yoga with Adriene community group, Northampton’s women circle, the kindness pandemic and friends of Shanti Mission, as well as my own community group, “Healings with Laura”, which you are welcome to join. These places all provide a safe space to share, a joyful place and, for me, a space with like-minded people. Then when we can get out and about you may have a whole new positive circle to meet up with.
Think about those friends that build you up and make you feel good about yourself, arrange to spend time with those people, if it can’t be in the physical, then arrange a video call.
Small children can be such a joy, especially when you get to jump in for the fun bits, they tend to live in the moment, and know how to play and have fun. Spend time playing, having fun and enjoying each other’s innocence. Spending time with the little kids in my life makes me feel great.
Finding my spiritual community was nothing how I would have imagined it to be, it is so much fun, there are a lot of laughs, so much support, and a knowing that I belong to this group full of amazing people, it was like a home coming, and it provides a great safe environment for me to learn and grow. If this feels like something you’d like, check out communities in your area, and let your intuition guide you as to whether it’s the right group for you.
And If you are looking for a teacher to really help you grow in self-love as well as other areas, then sending out a prayer to the universe and asking that this person come into your life can be really powerful.
As you surround yourself with positive people, you will become so much more, positive, and the brighter you are, the brighter the world is. It’s time to start shining.
Are all your relationships healthy? Or could any of them be considered to be “Toxic”
When doing this work, also consider online relationships. Ask yourself, is it really worth having a fight online with that person? Or is it better to walk away? Do I feel understood and supported? If the answer is “no” you may want to rethink your involvement.
And if you have real life toxic relationships, it is ok to walk away, to put a boundary in place and to get help. You don’t need to feel bad for putting yourself first, sometimes you just need space, but if you need to walk away permanently then do that and remember there is professional help available to support you through these changes. Toxic relationships (as well as abusive relationships) can cause serious lasting harm.
Clear boundaries are key in all relationships, but for many of us it’s not so easy to implement. I have found the first step is inner listening. Understanding what aligns with my values at that moment, and then when I am clear, it is easier for me to assert my boundary with loving kindness. For instance, a friend wants to meet for a walk. Normally you love meeting for a walk, but today you have a lot to do and it feels like an obligation, but you are torn as you don’t want your friend to feel ignored. It could be tempting to say ‘sure’, but it might be more appropriate to listen and get clear about what you need. ‘Ah actually I just need a long soak in the bath tonight’, and then say to the friend, ‘Today isn’t great, how about tomorrow or the next day? I’ll clear some time so we can properly connect.’ In this instance the friend will get the best of you.
The word ‘No’ used to have such negative connotations for me. I think it always made me feel like I couldn’t do or have something I wanted and was always about lack. However I learnt that saying ‘No’ can be the most loving thing in the world and, when expressed with love to others, they can feel the truth in our words. A simple example is your child asking for a 3rd ice cream. Your response is no because that’s not healthy. The child may feel like you’re the worst parent ever in that moment, but you have said no because you care about them and, if you explain to the child that they can’t have more ice cream because it’s not good for their body or mind, but they can have fruit or veg or some time with you to play and connect the child is much more likely to understand. The 3rd ice cream is not meeting a real need, the need is more likely to be disconnection, hunger, lack of healthy stimulation. Really this is the same with adults, we’re not really that different. Where can you say “No” with Love today?
This is one of my favourites. Stop comparing yourself to others. I am not entirely sure why, but comparing ourselves to others feels such an inherent part of how we interact. I’m assuming school and parenting has a lot to do with it but no one, absolutely no one, is the same as you. We are all walking our own unique path, so stop comparing and start loving the uniqueness.