How to Know YOU Better to Have a Great Relationship
“The person you choose to be with is a direct reflection of your own self-esteem”
Let that sink in. That news could be good or horrifyingly terrible. I’m not going to sugar coat it… if you are in a relationship with an abusive person, it speaks volumes of your own self-esteem. But please hear me; that in NO WAY justifies your partner’s behavior or is designed to make you feel even worse. But the person you are with and how they treat you is a direct reflection of your self-esteem.
Let me explain it this way… If I chose someone and they hit me on purpose for any reason AND I CHOOSE TO STAY WITH THEM, it’s because I don’t value myself enough to NOT be treated that way. I care more about them than I do myself. Now, I went straight for the physical abuse but there are many types of abuse, physical, emotional, mental, neglect, sexual (even in marriage). And if you are being abused and continue to put up with it, it’s a testament to your self-worth.
How much do you love yourself?
You get up every morning, eat, maybe exercise, read… what do you do? Is healthy for your body and soul or degrading and humiliating? Is it furthering your growth as a human or adding to the muddiness of your life?
You have to know YOU – fall in love with YOU – be confident in YOU to be a great spouse to someone else.
Hear me.. THIS IS NOT A NEW-AGEY SELF-CENTERED TYPE OF TEACHING. But we have to know our worth and how GOD views us as His beautiful creations. I don’t think taking some time to reflect on our own behaviors and character traits is selfish. Quite the opposite, actually. I believe it allows others to love us better and deeper and it lets other people in more and more in a gracious way.
Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers so they stick in your mind better.
Am I always waiting for the next big thing to make me happy or to happen in my life?
Am I looking back and realizing I’ve missed pivotal moments that I should have cherished and reveled in?
Am I fun? Am I fun to be with? Would other people think I’m fun?
What have I done that doesn’t involve anyone else that I’m proud of? (Moms will often use their kids as an answer and while we should be proud of our children, we should also be proud because our bodies carried them, our bodies broke to have them, or just simply, that you did something special just for yourself today)
Are the thoughts I have on a regular basis positive or negative? Why or why not?
What do outside voices tell you? Do you listen? Should you? Do you have positive voices or negative ones? Can you drown out the negative even before you feel like it?
Are you leading the life you always wanted? Why not? Is there anything you can do to get it back into the alignment you want? (I realize as a Christian we look to God to help direct our path and He is so faithful and gracious to let us mess up and still help bring us back to a peaceful life)
Am I in the valley, on the mountaintop or somewhere in between? Can I look back and see where I’ve come? Am I in a better place or worse? What can I learn from where I am RIGHT NOW? What can I do to shift the thinking and direction of my life?
What have I learned from past relationships or growing up that have improved my relationships now, made them worse, or created stagnation?
Am I being neglected? This may come from your spouse, your parents, your friends, even your kids. Is it YOU or them? Really think about that. Have you pushed them away in self-defense or self-preservation?
Do I have unhealthy attachments to things I can’t control? How do I let that go? Am I always worried about things that may never happen?
Being AWARE of ourselves is an essential step in self-improvement.
But I also don’t want you to get frustrated and depressed if you didn’t like your own answers. Take what you learned from yourself and put into practice. What things HAVE you or CAN you overcome? What are you grateful for? Do you take responsibility for your current situation or do you project blame on others? Do you project your insecurities on others without knowing it and push them away or think THEY are the problem?
I don’t want to come across as some Budda-preaching granola (too late) but just asking yourself these questions may get you thinking differently. I don’t want to depress you either, but knowing is always half the battle.