Maintaining Self-Love in a Relationship

“Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself.”  

Self love is the foundation to any successful relationship. When you’re in love it is easy to put your partner’s needs ahead of yours. Ignite Your Potential professionals have curate tips to help you maintain and grow your self-love while loving others.

Maintain Mental and Physical Health

Keeping your mind and body healthy exemplifies your love for yourself. In order to keep your mind healthy, avoid ignoring or dismissing your feelings. If you support others, when you are not mentally balanced, you will become drained, mentally and physically. Consider seeing a therapist or coach to cultivate mental wellness. Smart people see therapists and coaches in order to review what is going on in their minds and with their emotions. It’s a space to process all the things you experience day to day. 

“Mind and body are not separate, what affects one, affects the other.”

Alone Time

Alone time gives you space to self-reflect, track your goals, and grow as an individual. It’s hard to dedicate attention to your own needs if you are often preoccupied with someone else or with your work life. Include “me” time in your schedule to do something you genuinely enjoy. Your quality of life will thrive.

“When we can be alone, we can enjoy time with others without using them as a means to escape.”

Know Your Worth

Develop a relationship with yourself first, in other words, be your own best friend. Once you recognize your value, others will too. Then, when the right person comes along, it’s a great addition instead of a dependency for self-worth. 

“Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.”

Ignite Your Potential coaches, suggest entering relationships as a “whole person” looking for another whole person to blend and share a beautiful life with. As opposed to a “half” looking for another “half” to complete you. This will make a difference in the quality of your relationships. 

“A healthy relationship is when two individuals come together and agree to help make the other person the best version of themselves.” 

Need support on your journey to self-love? Ignite Your Potential Center coaches can be by your side every step of the way. We are #1 in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise. Remember, all of the award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you meet your life goals and career goals.

How to Be a Good Partner

There’s a paradox regarding intimacy. You would think that healthy intimacy is centered on what happens between two people. Yet relationship experts (such as David Schnarch and John Gottman) know that to have sustainable, nourishing relationships, you have to have a strong and deep alliance with yourself. This isn’t just a simple idea to breeze by without contemplation. Think of it this way: you are a ship on the sea of life and self knowledge is your anchor. If your anchor is substantial then there is no risk of losing yourself. It is your job to develop and cultivate that anchor.

Part of this relationship with yourself is the ability to focus inward to observe your own inner terrain. In this way you can discover what you need, adjust your self care accordingly, and rediscover your ever changing balance. One way of doing this is through various meditations or other check-in techniques such as the body scan. These practices allow us the time and space to be with ourselves and strengthen our ability to quiet the mind, look inward, and observe ourselves.

Another aspect of this “self-relationship” is delving into the idea of knowing yourself. Although this is a bit like a fish knowing water…who you are is all around you, yet somehow challenging to actually view. Still, one way you can explore the bigger picture of who you are is through personality profiles such as the Myers & Briggs and the Enneagram, or using a well-normed strengths assessment such as the Gallup StrengthsFinder.

Exploring who you are is not linear. It’s not something you accomplish and then you’re done. It’s not even a solo effort. It’s an ever-changing creative dance of learning and becoming.

How Do You Grieve? And Why Bother?

Grief is challenging in part because it feels painful, complicated, and vulnerable. I mean, who out there, really wants to grieve? Some never do process grief and in avoiding it, carry it deep within the psyche…a heaviness hidden from the self. Some are experts in processing emotions and just do so, eventually moving along. A funeral can often act as a wonderful way to bring closure to the grieving process and to start celebrating the life of those who have passed. You can find a detailed break down here of services like cremation. Between these two points are every other way we steer our course through emotions, specifically grief. So how do you grieve? Does it just happen naturally? Do you have to make space for it, taking specific actions in order to feel the range of what comes up? For those of you familiar with the terrain of grief…please be our sherpa and tell us how you navigate.

While grief comes through in times when we have lost someone we love. It’s also an emotional experience that can accompany any type of loss or change. If you switch jobs, become a parent, finish your degree, retire, go from a stay-at-home parent to a working-outside-the-house parent, move out of state, and the list goes on, all of these experiences (even when they represent something positive) are a type of loss. Change is loss. Most people have grieved for someone they loved after they’ve passed away. And for some people, they must now start thinking about organising a funeral. If this is you and you don’t know where to start, then it may be in your best interests to contact https://riemannfamily.com/ who can help give them the perfect send-off. If you change the way you treat your body and your eating habits, you are losing the other way you have been living. Like that song goes, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

I notice for myself, that sometimes I have “built in” aspects, created to “protect me,” that can keep me from going deep into emotion. So I have to make space to soften myself. I have to make sure that I’m not unconsciously escaping from my feelings through food, substances, shopping, socializing, over working, trying to control things in my life or trying to control others. I have to take really good care of myself with what I am eating, how I am sleeping, etc. I have to find ways to soothe myself and allow myself to become more introverted. And then slowly if I give myself space to reflect, journal, take baths, watch sad movies, listen to music…the emotions will come. This is how I invite my emotional self…because just like a tender, careful, shy child, my emotional self has had to slowly learn to trust me. In the past I hurt it through pushing it away, making it “buck up,” abusing it through harsh internal language, and simply ignoring it as if I didn’t have an emotional self.

So why go through this? Why bother taking the time to process our emotions or our grief? Especially since, if you’re like me, there are so many ways to go unconscious and avoid our soft sides. For some of us, if we don’t make this space, it will begin to take over, at worst, this is the core of the classic “nervous breakdown.” More mild versions are: break through emotions where we overreact to things (discharging unprocessed emotions at others) and depression (where our emotions turn against us or get stuck.) So one answer to why bother: this is how we avoid these small and large breakdowns. By making space for our emotional side, we can keep our emotional experience in it’s rightful, personal place…rather than unconsciously bringing them into our work lives or having them erupt without conscious intention. This is how we take care of ourselves. This is what healthy and balanced people do. Yet there is also another reason to make a conscious effort to meet our emotional self or process our emotions and grief. In doing so, our emotional side becomes our ally; (drum roll please) we actually become stronger and wiser. A metaphor for this is found in fairytales or mythology where the hero finally conquers the dragon and the dragon who was once a tyrant transforms into the hero’s right-hand companion for the rest of the journey.

When we become softer and allow our emotions to come through we become freer, and what is left, is stronger. Our emotions will then bring us many gifts including compassion, tenderness, and a sense that we are whole.

How to Have Deeper Connections: How to Feel Like You Belong

Brene Brown spent six years doing extensive research on vulnerability, connection, and shame. She found that people could be divided into two groups, those who have a strong sense of love and belonging, a sense of connection with others, and those who struggle for this sense of love and belonging, wondering if they are good enough.

One of the amazing things she found was that people who have a strong sense of belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging. Conversely, those that don’t have a sense of love and belonging, believe they are not worthy. Can you believe that?! What keeps us from feeling loved is the belief or sense that we are not worthy.

But wait there’s more…She goes on to say that those who feel worthy have certain things in common. For one, they have courage, and people, she is using the original definition of the word as it first came into the English language. Courage: to tell the story of who you are, with your whole heart.

“So these folks had the courage to be imperfect. They had the compassion to be kind to themselves, first, and then to others, because as it turns out, we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat our selves kindly. They had connection (and this is the hard part) as a result of authenticity. They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be, in order to fully be who they are, and you absolutely have to do that in order to have connection.

The other thing they had in common was this: they fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful. They didn’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they talk about it being excruciating, they just talked about it being necessary. They talked about the willingness to say ‘I love you’ first, the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees, the willingness to breathe through waiting for the doctor to call after you’ve had your mammogram, the willingness to invest in a relationship that might not work out, they thought this was fundamental.”

The biggest problem is that “you cannot selectively numb emotions. You can’t numb hard feelings without numbing joy, gratitude, happiness. Once we begin numbing, suddenly we feel empty and then we are looking for purpose and meaning, and we feel vulnerable, and then we numb again. We need to look at how and why we numb ourselves.” The challenge is to move away from these habits toward full range feeling, toward vulnerability. And the pay off? Deeper connection with others and a sense of love and belonging.

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