When it comes to romantic relationships, most of us have had the experience of seeing the ‘red flags’ for a certain person or relationship not being right for us, then ignoring those signs, and later asking ‘how did I get it so wrong?’ when it didn’t work out.
This is like seeing a red flag on a beach (warning you of dangerous water conditions), disregarding it and going into the ocean anyway, and then wondering why a lifeguard had to rescue you from almost drowning.
Warning signs are here for a reason, and when we dismiss and ignore them, we suffer as a result (been there, done that!). And the same is true of our emotions.
Negative emotions are clear signals letting you know that something is not quite right – that your truth is somehow being compromised. And when you avoid those negative emotions, you suffer the consequences of inauthentic relationships.
When struggling in our relationships (with our partner, our job, and even ourselves), so many of us long for “some kind of sign” to provide a solution to our problem – an answer to the never-ending question of ‘what should I do?’.
If you’re tired of chasing after an answer that you never seem to receive, this blog post is for you.
It’s All About Your Relationship With Yourself
If you could do one thing – and one thing only – to receive the solution to every so-called problem, it would be to have a strong, healthy relationship with yourself. To love yourself, respect yourself, and care about the way you feel.
This is important to understand, because the relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have. And you have a built-in guidance system (your emotions) continuously telling you at at every turn whether or not you’re heading in the right direction.
To illustrate through example, I’m including ten profound quotes from Charlie Chaplin, in which he shares his experience of how learning to love himself also taught him how to transform what wasn’t working into an improved quality of life.
In other words, when he bettered his relationship with himself, he was naturally led to his own answers. Who knew that a comedian/actor from the early 1900’s could be an example of the benefits of self-love in 2020?!
As I share each quote, I’ll show you how to apply its wisdom to your own experience of improving your quality of life and relationships. So let’s get started!
“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
When we are inauthentic (dishonest, unsure, not real) in our relationships, and ignore our emotional warning signs, we are living against our own truth. And living out of alignment with our truth is the reason for our pain and suffering.
For example, if your relationship with your partner doesn’t feel good, pay attention to those feelings and ask yourself, “what am I afraid to see in this, and how can I be more authentic/real with myself about what I truly desire in my relationship?”
“As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.
Or as Aretha Franklin sings, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” What does respect mean to you? And how can you respect yourself more in your relationships with yourself and your partner?
For example, are you trying to force yourself to ‘settle’ for the status quo even when you’re not happy? Are you afraid to rock the boat by asking for changes? Or to leave an unfulfilling relationship because you might not find something better?
Respect yourself enough to speak your truth, and be sure to do it in a respectful way. The more you respect yourself, the less you’ll allow others to disrespect you.
“As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.
When it comes to unresolved conflict within a romantic relationship, there are two ways in which the pendulum usually swings. To one extreme of calling it quits and running for the hills before even trying to work out it, OR to the other extreme of toughing it out indefinitely and feeling obligated to stay no matter how bad it gets.
Choosing to see relationship conflict as an invitation to grow keeps you grounded ‘in the middle’ and away from the extremes. And this gives you ample opportunities to learn and mature, which is always a good thing!
The amount of time and effort needed to grow is a personal (and often different) choice in each case. And it’s helpful to remember that, even if your partner isn’t willing to grow, that doesn’t mean you need to shrink. If you’re loving yourself in the process of growing, you’ll know whether staying or going is the right choice for you.
“As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
This goes right along with the message on maturity. Even when unhappy with current circumstances, when you understand that everything happens at the right moment, and use this opportunity to gauge where you are in relation to where you want to go, this will help you build self-confidence.
The more you trust the process of life and your ability to handle whatever comes your way, the more strength you gain to stay calm in turbulent situations.
“As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
How much time are you cheating yourself out of by staying in a relationship that doesn’t feel right? If it doesn’t bring you joy and happiness, and make your heart cheer with love, love yourself enough to do something about it.
Whether that means asking for needed changes and reconnecting with your partner in a way that feels good, or learning how to gracefully let go of a relationship that no longer serves its purpose, you have one life to live and only you get to live it.
Love of Oneself
“As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
I love what he says here, because there’s still an outdated belief that self-love is somehow egotistical. Self-love is not the same thing as conceit.
When you truly love yourself, you don’t see yourself better than others, but you do see yourself as worthy of healthy and loving relationships (and food, situations, etc.). And you’re willing to let go and free yourself of anything that doesn’t feel healthy.
“As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
The need to always be right in the midst of relationship conflict is a waste of time and energy. Doing your best to help your partner understand your point of view is certainly needed for conflict resolution, but that doesn’t mean that one of you is right and the other is wrong. Most of the time, it just means there’s a strong difference of opinion.
Judging someone as wrong because they don’t handle things the same way you do doesn’t mean they are fundamentally wrong. Depending on what it is, it may just mean they’re not right for you.
At the end of the day, what matters most is that you feel right with yourself, and you don’t need to make someone else wrong in order to do that.
“As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
We all know what it’s like to feel stifled and stuck from living in the past, not willing to grow and evolve as we are meant to. And we all know what it’s like to live in fear about the future, holding ourselves back from what we really want because we don’t know for sure how things will unfold.
It’s helpful to remember that uncertainty about the future is a given. No matter how much you plan, or how prepared your feel, your whole future can unexpectedly change in an instant (shifts in the economy, natural disasters, accidents, etc.).
I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t plan for our future and feel excited about all that we have yet to experience. But I am suggesting that living in the moment is the only sure thing you have. You can’t change what’s already happened, and you can’t predict the future, but you can live your life to the fullest in this moment.
Wisdom of the Heart
“As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.
Oh how I love this quote! I often talk about how the lack of alignment between our head and our heart is the source of internal conflict and confusion. When we let our thoughts dominate our choices, and give no validity or value to our feelings, we disturb our well-being and often get sick as a result.
It’s a scientific fact that our immune system is strengthened when we feel loved and supported. And your heart is the hardest-working muscle in your body, constantly pumping and circulating life-giving blood to every organ and cell 24 hours a day.
Tuning in to the wisdom/feelings of your heart is a sure way to improve your relationship with yourself, and your life will continue to get better and better!
That is Life
“We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE!”
What a great quote to wrap this up with. As you begin to love yourself, you’ll feel more peace in your mind, more love in your heart, and more joy in your life!
You’ll no longer fear problems the way you used to. Instead, you’ll look these so-called problems in the eyes and say, “You have no power over me. I love myself, I believe in myself, and nothing can take that away from me.”
Be Your Own Savior
So now, back to the beginning of this message. Remember how I gave the example of ignoring the red flag on the beach, jumping in the ocean anyway, and then wondering why a lifeguard had to rescue you from almost drowning?
One of the many beauties of learning how to love yourself is that you don’t need a ‘lifeguard’ outside of you to rescue you. You get to be your own savior.
You have a built-in lifeguard, and it’s called self-love. You have a built-in guidance system, and it’s called emotions. And you have a built-in solution to any so-called problems, and it’s called the wisdom of your heart.
If you’re tired of chasing after an answer that you never seem to receive, and you’re exhausted from living a life that doesn’t feel like yours, the best thing you can do is learn how to love yourself. It all starts with your willingness…are you willing?
With love and support,
Healthy Relationship Coach
Licensed Heal Your Life® Coach
P.S. If you’re getting warning signs of living against your truth, and you’re ready to stop the madness and live in your truth, I’d love to coach you through this and show you how. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or schedule your complimentary Relationship Breakthrough Session here: bit.ly/scheduleRBS.