Being your own Valentine
So, Valentine's Day is looming; whether you think it's just a load of old twaddle for people to make money or an opportunity to show your love and appreciation to someone, have you ever thought about you being your own Valentine?
Before we go into this area, let's just reflect on some common stages of personal relationships...
- When we meet someone to which we are attracted we tend to see all their positive qualities; we look for similarities and ignore any of the 'other' stuff - the negatives - or we see it as 'quirky'.
- Then, a little further into the relationship, we start to notice things which begin to irritate us; we start to wonder why the other person doesn't think or act like we do. Yes, the rose-coloured specs are wearing off and reality is kicking in.
- Later, we may start to criticise more because we don't like it when our partner starts asserting their individuality, doing things differently to how we think they should. Now we start focusing on their 'lack' - what they don't do, say etc.
- After a while, these 'qualities' become magnified and we tend to lose the plot as to why we are with this person.
If this isn't spotted early enough, the relationship can end - or at least become very 'rocky'. Often what we do is search for something in someone else to 'feed' us what we are missing in our lives.
Debbie Ford once said: "When our flames are low, we are sceptical and cynical. We worry that others will want something from us and we fear that we have so little to give. When our flames are weak we don't have the defences to fight off disease, doubt, worry, self-loathing, addiction, or criticism. When our flames are low we look to others to feed our fires because we haven't fed them ourselves. A weak fire is needy and falls prey to the ongoing negative dialogues that permeate our minds."
As you can see, it comes back to the usual thing; take care of yourself, your needs, then you can allow others to be themselves. So, when you think of your partner, the most important thing is to focus on the qualities the person has right from the beginning of your relationship, telling them how much you appreciate them. This reinforces both the feelings of why you love the person and also their feelings of positivity about themselves.
A very useful strategy to help focus and maintain successful relationships is this:
- Focus on what you really like about this person, small things and big things. Tell them, often.
- Daily, run a 'video' in your head of how wonderful they are, or some specific thing they did that you thought was great. This could be something that happened yesterday or 2 years ago. What this is then doing is reinforcing your feelings for them (at a cellular level) and firing those good neurons which neuroscientists are always telling us about. This stuff is very deep and if it's working properly you will definitely get good feelings accompanying the 'video'.
Done regularly, it will become 'wired' into your nervous system and it will make you feel good naturally. We know from neuroscience that "neurons that fire together wire together" - you just have to choose the right ones. Remember, your mind doesn't know the difference between a real and an imagined event!
So, how does all this relate to you being your own Valentine?
Easy - just apply the above to yourself:
- Run that video of how well you did something.
- Appreciate and tell yourself your best qualities often! Maybe write them down - and if you are stuck, ask some good friends what they think your qualities are.
- Notice how certain positive qualities are developing in you and pat yourself on the back (reinforcing the neural networks).
- Begin to notice what you do like about yourself and put your focus there. You can decide what/how you would rather be - focus on that, not what you're not!
- Send yourself a Valentine expressing what you love about yourself and focus on it everyday!
As you live with yourself 24/7 make sure you are your best friend.
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